authoritarian proclivity and protracted disputes with its southern neighbours

Authoritarian proclivity and protracted disputes with

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authoritarian proclivity and protracted disputes with its southern neighbours over the management of Nile River resources. But perhaps most damning, from an African perspective, is its lack of real influence in (some would even say interest in or association with the identity of) Sub- Saharan Africa. South Africa’ diplomatic leadership credentials are not as entrenched as those of Nigeria or Egypt. Nevertheless, since its transition to democracy in the early 1990s it has assumed superior moral leadership on the continent and in multilateral fora globally. This stature is advanced inter alia by the country’s acclaimed democratic transition, four Nobel peace laureates and the fact that it became the first country ever to disarm its nuclear arsenal unilaterally. As Africa’s largest economic and military power, its continental impact has always been guaranteed, but post- apartheid South Africa has also quickly built up a diplomatic track-record of promoting peace on the continent, including mediation in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ivory Coast. In addition, it has spearheaded unprecedented success in building Africa’s relations with the developed world. These three contenders are all undisputed leaders in their respective sub-regions and their impact on African history has undeniably transcended their own borders and immediate regions. The obvious question arises as to which of the three would be most representative of Africa. This issue has not been put to an AU vote, but the prospective 47 Leadership Versus Comradeship in Africa's Quest For Security Council Transformation
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choice has caused bitter rivalry among the contenders and their allies. Adebajo xii notes that that their respective adversaries have dismissed Nigeria as too “anarchic”, South Africa as too “albinocratic” and Egypt as too “Arab”. This observation draws on schismatic tensions in African unity that simmer underneath the (façade of) consensus so exalted by African integrationists, and belies the “common” nature of Africa’s approach to UNSC reform. Africa’s self-engineered crisis of multilateralism The disunity within Africa over permanent UNSC representation begs the question whether the Ezulwini Consensus and its precursor, the Harare Declaration, had at any stage been vetted at any level other than that of AU foreign ministers and heads of state/government. The dearth of input from African civil society into formulation of the various generations of Africa’s “Common Position”, is but one reason to consider the notion of a consensus position premature, if not totally unrealistic. Even at the governmental level, there has not been substantive consensus within Africa. The Sirte Declaration in July 2005 was adopted by majority decision, not by consensus. This means that even if the AU had managed to merge its proposal with the G-4, it may not have received the supporting votes of all its members if the proposal had been put to an UNGA vote. On its own, the AU’s uncompromising approach to UNSC
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  • Spring '19
  • Dr Danson
  • African Union, UN Security Council

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