AN ASSESSMENT OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE AFRICAN UNION, THE UNITED NATIONS AND THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT IN PEACEMAKING IN SUDAN


CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 1.1       Background to the Study

The African Union (AU) together with the United Nations and the International Criminal Court (ICC) have pledged to create a continent of peace and solidarity. However, dozens of socio-ethnic conflicts occur across the continent despite the AU’s best efforts to prevent them. In this thesis, case study of Sudan is used to assess the efficacy of the AU in collaboration with the UN and ICC in the realm of peacemaking.

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Contextualizing Sudan in the Study

There are many reasons Sudan is a compelling country to study. Sudan, until recently, was Africa’s and the Arab world’s largest country. It is also the cradle of the worlds’ longest river, the Nile, and the Sudanese government exerts authority over the river’s tributaries, the Blue and White Niles.15 Additionally, the country is endowed with astonishing resources ranging from fertile land to minerals and oil. Sudan’s oil reserves were estimated to be among the richest in the continent and its potential agricultural products are considered enough to eradicate hunger in all of Africa.

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Wars and conflict faced Sudan on every front, not only internationally but also nationally. Internally, Sudan has been ravaged by two civil wars. The first is the North-South civil war, also known as Africa’s longest civil war, and the second is the conflict in Darfur. Khartoum’s involvement in the Darfur conflict resulted in an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC)for the president of Sudan, Omar Al-Bashir, for crimes against humanity. Omar Al-Bashir’s authoritarian prolonged rule is said to eclipse the hopes for a democratic Sudan. Yet, the country underwent four democratic governments in the past five decades and therefore the spirit of revival persists. Sudan also experienced a few federal arrangements that are worth examining. Additionally, Sudan is one of the first few states to experience secession by a referendum in the world. In January 2010, South Sudan exercised its right to self-determination and in June 2011, declared itself as Africa’s youngest nation.

 

1.2       Statement of the Problem

At present, the efforts of the African Union, United Nations and the International Criminal Court in peacekeeping in Sudan, are yet to receive the attention of scholars. Meanwhile, the case study illuminate the financial, political, and socio-cultural trials the AU, UN and ICC faces when engaging in peacemaking.

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1.3       Research Questions

It will examine questions stemming from three quintessential areas of AU peacemaking and peacekeeping: economical, political, and socio-cultural.

  • How is the AU tackling African civil wars?
  • If the purpose of peacekeeping is to broker peace through compromise between opposing parties, is it within the interest of member states that are the subject to peacekeeping measures to contribute state funds to the AU Peace Fund and the ICC?
  • Why do Governments such as Sudan prefer the intervention of an AU peacekeeping mission than UN peacekeeping forces?
  • Is AU peacekeeping more acceptable because of its African origin, or is it because of its widespread record of lame-duck peacekeeping missions that offer little threat to the offending government?
  • Has the AU, UN and the ICC been able to offer lasting solution to the crises in Sudan?

1.4       Justification of the Study

The Sudan conflicts were chosen for analysis due to their high level of AU involvement and therefore offer sufficient evidence of AU peacemaking and peacekeeping capabilities. Hence, the study will offer sufficient data for greater understanding of the relationship between AU and ICC in peacekeeping due to the AU’s deep involvement in each of these conflicts. Moreover, the comparison of the two cases will offer a more balanced understanding of the AU’s capacity for peacemaking and peacekeeping efforts in Africa.

1.5       Scope of the Study

 

A number of parameter need to be established for the study. First, the period covered is from 2002 to 2010. Second, the African Union (AU) and founding of the ICC for resolutions in Sudan is critically examined based on their peace and solidarity efforts. Third, the civil wars are to be examined primarily from the perspective of African Union’s peacekeeping initiatives despite the involvement of other international organisations such as the United Nations as well as regional third party interventions.

1.6       Literature Review

There are several bodies of literature relevant to this study.

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All of the above perspectives provide a rich framework within which to assess the evolving AU-UN-ICC cooperation as seen in Sudan.

1.7       Research Methodology

Through the use of primary sources such as publications from  AU,UN and ICC; and secondary sources such as periodicals, books, articles, and newspapers, I will address the issue of AU peacemaking and peacekeeping efficacy by analyzing the Darfur crisis.

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End notes

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