Organization of African Unity (OAU) was formed on May 25, 1963 in Ethiopia with headquarters at Addis Ababa. Within the period of formation, three groups existed in Africa, namely: The Casablanca group which were the radicals that advocated pan- Africanist and super-national state for Africa, which will take over all the sovereignty of all impendent state in Africa. This group includes: Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Morocco, Egypt, Libya.
The second group is the Monrovia group that consisted of Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Tunisia, Togo, Somali. They were the conservatives strongly opposed to the Casablanca group. They wanted African countries to maintain relationship with their colonial masters while retaining their independence. Their idea was to form a common organ where their interests would be discussed.
The third group was the Brazzaville group that comprise all the French speaking countries of Africa. They supported the ideas of the Monrovia group. Hence the formation of OAU.
Organization of African Unity OAU was formed with the following aims in mind.
1. Promotion of the Unity and sovereignty of the African states
2. Promotion of international cooperation within the framework of the UN
3. Defence of their sovereignty and territorial integrity.
4. Eradication of all forms of colonialism
5. Collaboration of efforts to improve the living standard of Africans.
The African Union was a replacement of the Organization of African Unity AU was first proposed by the Libyan leader, Moammar Ghadaffi. OAU Assembly of heads of state and government in July 1999 in Algiers accepted an invitation from Col. Ghadaffi to the fourth extra-ordinary summit in September in Sirte. The purpose of the extra-ordinary summit was to amend the OAU charter to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the OAU. The theme of the Sirte summit was “strengthening OAU capacity to enable it to meet the challenges of the new millennium”. The summit concluded on 9 September 1999 with the Sirte declaration aimed at;
1. Effectively addressing the new social, political and economic realties in Africa and the world.
2. fulfilling the people’s aspiration for greater unity in conforming with the objectives of OAU charter and the treaty establishing the African economic Community (AEC)
3. Revitalizing the OAU to play a more active role in addressing the needs of the people.
4. Eliminating the scourge of conflicts
5. Meeting global challenges
6. Hamessing the human and material resources of the continent to improve living conditions.
AU is not a second OAU but a replacement of it. While OAU was meant to promote unit and solidarity among newly independent states and also was instrumental to decolonization, the AU does not only promote unit and international cooperation but also serves as organ of struggle against re-colonization and imperialism in the age of globalization. Hence, in the new AU, economic, social and human integrity of individuals as well as states are subjects of the organization, AU takes a different dimension. The sanctity of state. By extension, the success of sovereign independence of states is linked to the affairs of their states and by extension the AU. Hence, in as much as other organs in the OAU still exists in AU, the peculiar attribute of AU lies in the provision of economic and social councils, promotion of democracy, involvement of civil society and liberation of Africans under threat of extinction from their governments e.g. genocide, etc.
The AU adopts the conflict prevention, management and resolution strategies of the OAU as stipulated in the Cairo declaration. AU also made provision for the establishment of a pan-African parliament, court of justice and permanent representatives committee. The peace and reconciliation committee would have to determine and act in time to prevent crimes against humanity. Emphasis will be placed on this later.