Learning on the Job? The 2007-2008 Crisis and Role of the African Union in Transitional Justice in Kenya
60 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2014
Date Written: December 18, 2011
Since the transformation of Organization of African Unity (OAU) into the African Union (AU) in year 2000, the continental body has shown itself more willing and perhaps better equipped than its predecessor to play a greater role in the maintenance of regional peace and security by intervening in various ways in conflict situations on the continent. However, the dynamism of conflict situations has proved challenging for the evolving regional body. The area of transitional justice is one that the AU seems untested, hesitant and perhaps less prepared to engage for a range of reasons. The conflict situation that unfolded in Kenya following the disputed presidential elections of 2007 presents one an opportunity to gauge the role of the AU in transitional justice in Africa: its preparedness, legal basis, challenges and opportunities that may exist for the continental body as it seeks to define its broader role in regional peace and security. This paper thus discusses the role of the AU and sub regional bodies in the unfolding transitional justice process in Kenya. In particular, the paper identifies specific interventions by the AU and sub regional bodies (the East African Community) commencing with the negotiated agreement that created the government of National Unity (GNU). More broadly, the role of various actors such as the broader international community (United Nations and key Western governments) as well as civil society is discussed. In the end, the paper makes recommendations for the possible continued role of AU and sub-regional bodies in specific aspects of transitional justice developments in Kenya.
Keywords: African Union, Kenya, Post Election Violence, Transitional Justice, International Criminal Court, Truth and Reconciliation Commission
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