The Case for Updating the African Union Policy on Unconstitutional Changes of Government

The African Union (AU) policy on dealing with unconstitutional changes of government (UCG) has generated countless debates, while a large amount of research and many papers have been published on the topic. As an insider who once was deeply involved in the Organisation of African Unity’s (OAU) and AU’s efforts to address UCG and in the elaboration of their various policy documents, I have always wanted to give my testimony on the matter. The recent wave of coups d’état in Africa, including in Chad, Mali and Guinea, has prompted me to write this paper based on my conviction that for any organisation to move forward, it needs to pay special attention to its institutional memory and past experiences.