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The Role of the African Union in dousing political tension

Just like Europe has the European Union, Africa has the African Union (AU) which aims to foster a unified approach to laws. Its major aim is to bring African nations “Towards a Peaceful, Prosperous and Integrated Africa”.

One of the raging issues on the continent which the AU is working towards resolving, is a land crises that has come about between Djibouti and Eritrea.

The tension began when Qatar withdrew their peacekeeping force from the area of dispute, Ras Doumeira. On the 14th of June 2017, Qatar announced that it would be withdrawing its peacekeeping forces and this spurred the Eritrean Government to immediately take charge of the region. This also put the Djiboutian Government at alert, with their military on standby.

The African Union has however called for calm to ensure that this issue is resolved amicably. the African Union Commission's Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat stated that:

"The AU Commission, in close consultations with the authorities in Djibouti and Eritrea, is in the process of deploying a fact-finding mission to the Djibouti-Eritrea border".

The African Union has over the past 25 years, looked for ways to maintain peace on the continent and reduce as much as possible, the intervention of the United Nations or other nations foreign to Africa.

In the 2017 Gambian Election Crises, the AU was quick to both condemn the action of President Yahaya Jammeh, who lost the elections and refused to relinquish power to London Trained Adama Barrow, and were quick to act by indicating a vote of no confidence to the Gambian ex-president.

The role of the African Union in political conflict resolution is often dwarfed by the presence of the United Nations. This however, does not rule out the inevitable role that the Union plays in ensuring that there is lasting peace after foreign military intervention.

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