Daily News Analysis

African Union

4th June, 2021 International Relations

GS PAPER II: Important International institutions, agencies and fora - their structure, mandate.

Context: The African Union suspended Mali’s membership in response to military coup and threatened sanctions, if a civilian-led government is not restored. West African regional bloc ECOWAS had suspended Mali.

  • African Union's Peace and Security Council said that the organisation called for an unimpeded, transparent and swift return to the civilian-led transition, failing which, the Council will not hesitate to impose targeted sanctions.
  • Mali's neighbours and international powers fear the latest revolt will jeopardise a commitment to hold a Presidential election. It may also undermine a regional fight against Islamist militants, some of which are based in Mali's desert north.

 About AU:     

  • The African Union (AU) is a continental union consisting of 55 member states located on the continent of Africa.
  • The AU was announced in the Sirte Declaration in Sirte, Libya in 1999, calling for the establishment of the African Union.
  • The intention of the AU was to replace the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) by 32 signatory governments.
  • Within the African Union, there are official bodies, such as the Peace and Security Council and the Pan-African Parliament.

The objectives of the AU are the following:

  1. To achieve greater unity, cohesion and solidarity between the African countries and African nations.
  2. To defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of its Member States.
  3. To accelerate the political and social-economic integration of the continent.
  4. To promote and defend African common positions on issues of interest to the continent and its peoples.
  5. To encourage international cooperation, taking due account of the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  6. To promote peace, security, and stability on the continent.