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Article

Abstract

Recent political developments have brought new significance to a longstanding debate about when regional organizations may legally authorize the use of military force against member states without prior authorization by the United Nations Security Council. The most striking examples of these developments have occurred in Africa in reaction to the repeated failure of the United Nations to halt civil wars and other humanitarian crises. When African states transformed the Organization for African Unity into the African Union (AU) eight years ago, they granted the new organization the authority "to intervene in a Member State ... in respect of grave circumstances, namely: war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity."

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