Crisis Management and the Organisation of African Unity (1963-1980)

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Egemonye, W.R W.R
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University of Lagos
After World War II, competition between the United States and Russia together with their growing mastery of weaponry in the nuclear field helped to bring about structural change in the international arena. This also resulted in a change in the structure and nature of international crisis. It was realised that the new design of the nuclear based international system demanded a new approach to handling crisis. This new approach is called crisis management. It is obvious that the new structure developed because of needs felt by the dominant powers, the Soviet Union and the United States to deal with Cold war trends'. Thus, crisis management between the superpowers is an exercise as to strategic interests whether in conflict or not. "The main purpose of forming structures for crisis management is to develop rational procedures to meet unexpected contingencies and to search for options which minimise the adversary's threats and maximize one's own self-interests, without turning to war"2. For example, after Word War II, the United Nations was formed essentially, as stated in its charter, "to keep the peace" or as a crisis control agency. Member states are asked to "refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any states"3. Emphasizing a distorted concept of collective security buttressed partially by a recognition of the balance of power framework, the architects of the UN Charter were well aware of the limited possibilities of dealing with and controlling crisis of a global basis.4 The three central organs of the UN; the security Council, the General Assembly, and the Secretariat in themselves cannot adequately deal with violations of international peace. Any collective response is determined by a willingness of nation-states to act willingly. Nowhere is this more evidence than in the Security Council where a veto by any of the five permanent members can block not only a resolution but an enforcement of an action designed to bring about security. But there are structural deficiencies in any supranational or national organisation, which does not limit its potential for solving crisis. True crisis management has become an institutionalised science. The practical operational elements of management science were first put to test in the Cuban missile crisis, with more or less positive results. However, since the sixties, crisis management as a science failed to yield the success that had at first seemed probable, i.e. Vietnam and the Arab-Israeli War of 1967. Although crisis management is still used academically to refer to institutionalised structured planning for the containment of crises; it has more or less evolved into a rather personal face to face diplomacy, such as that exercised by former United States Secretary of state Henry Kissinger.5 Still crisis management, as handled, on an institutional level has not yet been greatly studied. Therefore, it is of great importance that such a performance study be undertaken with a flexible, yet scientific method of research. In this study of the organisation of African Unity, I have undertaken to evaluate the various systems for crisis management. Are the check and balance systems of the O.A.U. operative and functioning according to a specific plan? Therefore the title of the thesis is "Crisis Management and the O.A.U. (1963-1980)". The thesis is an in-depth study of the Organisation of African Unity its structure, and its crisis management ability. In Chapter 1, there is a general History and detailed discussion of the O.A.U. and its structure. Chapter 2 deals with the O.A.U. and a theoretical framework for crisis management. Theories about third party role in crisis management as distinct from self-management by parties involved, one nation-third party manager as distinct from an organisation acting as crisis manager, including theories about mediation, conciliation, and arbitration are discussed together with more information on the O.A.U. Commission of Mediation, Conciliation, and Arbitration. Chapter 3 treats the subject. "The O.A.U. and Boundary/Territorial Disputes". Disputes involving Somali-Ethiopia, Somalia-Kenya, Morocco-Algeria, Morocco-W/Sahara are used as case studies. Chapter 4 deals with the subject, "The O.A.U. and Internal Crisis". The classic case studies used are the Congo Crisis (1964-65), the Sudanese Civil War, the Nigerian Civil War, the Angolan and Chad crises.
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Crisis , Boundary/Territorial Disputes
Egemonye, W.R (1983) Crisis Management and the Organisation of African Unity (1963-1980). University of Lagos School of Postgraduate Studies Phd Thesis and Dissertation Abstracts.277pp.