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Saturday, May 25, 2013

The OAU: Fifty years on

Seeking African unity for 50 years

The Organisation of African Unity was formed 50 years ago - on 25 May 1963. It was a compromise between those who wanted something like a United States of Africa and those who wanted each country to remain independent.

It was based in Addis Ababa the capital of Ethiopia, one of just two African countries never to have been colonised. The body became the African Union in 2002.The link provides 3 vies on the achievements of the OAU

1957: Leaders of Africa's three independent republics - Liberia, Ghana and Guinea - met to discuss liberating the rest of the continent

1963: OAU founded
Initially concentrated on ending colonial and white minority rule in countries such as Angola, Mozambique (1975), Zimbabwe (1980), Namibia (1990) and South Africa (1994)

1984: Morocco leaves OAU after OAU recognised independence of Western Sahara

2002: OAU became the African Union, designed to work for economic integration

AU ended policy of non-interference in domestic affairs - it has suspended several countries after coups, while OAU had been criticised as a "dictators' club"

AU has sent peacekeepers to Darfur and Somalia

2011: South Sudan becomes 54th member of AU (Morocco has not rejoined)

2012: Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma becomes first female head of AU commission

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