"Despite the above obligation enshrined in the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR), to protect, promote and fulfil the right to peace and security that is binding on them, African states are facing numerous armed conflicts. The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (the African Commission) has already found a violation of the right to peace. In that case, the Commission has stated that 'the responsibility for protection is incumbent on the State', which has therefore the obligation to make sure that people's right to peace is not infringed, either by its own forces or by uncontrolled ones. The right to peace has therefore been recognised and interpreted by the relevant and authoritative monitoring body, the African Commission. The African Union (AU), composed of all African states except Morocco, has also committed itself to work towards peace and security in the continent. Most importantly, it has endorsed the ACHPR by committing itself to 'promote and protect human and peoples' rights in accordance with the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and other relevant human rights instruments'. These provisions are binding not only on the states parties to the Constitutive Act of the African Union (the AU Act), but also upon the African Union itself, as an international organisation that enjoys international capacity. Indeed, the Constitutive Act of the African Union stands as the constitution of the organisation. There should therefore be no doubt that the provisions of the AU Act bind the AU. However, no effective mechanism designed to ensure the fulfilment of the aims and accountability of international organisations exists. The reality on the ground is that Africa is facing a significant number of situations in which there is no peace. These situations violate the people's right to peace and security as protected under article 23 of the ACHPR. In 2000, it was estimated that 20 percent of Africa south of the Sahara's population lived in countries that were facing war and low intensity conflict. There is therefore a need for assessing the AU institutional capacity to fulfil its constitutional obligation of protecting the people's right to peace and security. ... Chapter one of this paper introduces the matter and defines the context in which it will proceed. It is a general presentation of the study. Chapter two will be devoted to human rights within the African Union. The first part of the chapter will deal with the right to peace and security in particular. The legal position of the AU towards human rights in Africa will then be discussed. Chapter three will be dealing with examples of the involvement of the AU in peace building on the continent. Chapter four will present and assess the AU's framework intended to realise peace and security in Africa. Chapter five will be focussed on the specific programmes of the AU that have a peace and security component. Chapter six will draw conclusions and make recommendations." -- Introduction.
Prepared under the supervision of Dr. Enid Hill at the Political Science Department, American University in Cairo
Thesis (LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa)) -- University of Pretoria, 2005.