The Role of Regional Organisations in the Interpretation and Implementation of the Responsibility to Protect. The Case of the African Union and Its Involvement in the Libyan Crisis1
Responsibility to Protect (RtoP or R2P), a term coined in 2001, remains one of the central concepts in debates about possible modification of the rules of the use of force for the protection of civilians in armed conflict and beyond. A decade after the conception of RtoP, the Secretary General (SG) of the United Nations published his report on the role of regional organisations in the implementation of RtoP. The report's findings are especially interesting in light of the involvement of the African Union (AU) in the Libyan conflict and of further consequences of these actions. The main research scope of the present paper is to determine the patterns of behaviour of regional organizations as regards their stance on mass human rights abuse and international crimes committed against the civilian population and on the subsequent question of the legitimacy of the use of force for the protection of the oppressed. The analysis deals first with RtoP's legal standing, which allows us to understand the nature of obligations for international actors that RtoP creates. The argumentation follows with the presentation of the SG's report and then moves to the AU's involvement in the Libyan crisis and other instances of mass atrocity crime in Africa.(original abstract)
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