Posts by: Solomon Dersso

The African Union (AU) norm relating to unconstitutional changes of government (UCG) distinguishes the African peace and security order from other regional and global peace and security orders. This norm assigns the regional organization an intrusive role unparalleled by other international organizations as far as the constitutional and democratic order of member states is concerned. The norm bans UCG and also provides for enforcement measures that received regional constitutional status in the founding treaty establishing the AU. Despite its emergence accompanying the democratization process that countries on the continent ventured into in the 1990s, seen in the light of Africa’s unhappy experience with illegal change or seizure of government, this norm cannot be dissociated from the continent’s concern about peace and security.

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The current crisis in The Gambia has a simple story. On 1 December 2016 presidential elections were held in the country with the incumbent Yahya Jammeh and the opposition leader Mr Adama Barrow as frontrunners. The following day, the Independent Electoral Commission of the Gambia announced a surprising result, Jammeh lost the election by 39.6 […]

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This paper analyzes the African Union (AU)’s normative framework on Unconstitutional Changes of Government (UCG), and is intended to serve three purposes: to trace the origins of the norm, identifying the major gaps; to review the AU’s implementation and enforcement of the norm; and to discuss potential means for reconciling the identified gaps between the norm and practice.

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Much of the focus of the other reviews of AU peace operations has been on what this report calls instruments, the decision-making mechanisms and the tools that the AU has developed and used over the years. As it can be gathered from its title, ‘African politics, African Peace’ on the other hand puts singular emphasis on and dedicates considerable space to politics, particularly Africa’s politics of peace. This is given expression and best captured through what the report calls the primacy of the political. While similar language has been used in the HIPPO report, the scope and content of the primacy of the political in this report is different.

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