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PROPOSAL 1.1 Background to the Study The African Union (AU) has pledged to create a continent of peace and solidarity. However, dozens of socio-ethnic conflicts occur across the continent despite the AU’s best efforts to prevent them. In this thesis, case studies of Sudan and Congo will be used to assess the efficacy of the AU in the realm of peacemaking and peacekeeping. Within each of these case studies, AU impediments to peacemaking and peacekeeping on financial, political, and socio-cultural fronts were analyzed. One of the main basic reason for the transformation of the former Organization of African Unity (hereinafter the OAU) 1 to the brand new African Union (hereinafter the AU) is the need to shift from maintaining colonial independence of African states to a more pragmatic aspects of securing the realization of human rights, democracy, good governance and economic development of the African continent. Contextualizing Sudan in the Study There are many reasons Sudan is a compelling country to study. Sudan, until recently, was Africa’s and the Arab world’s largest country. It is also the cradle of the worlds’ longest river, the Nile, and the Sudanese government exerts authority over the river’s tributaries, the Blue and White Niles.2 Additionally, the country is endowed with astonishing resources ranging from fertile land to minerals and oil. Sudan’s oil reserves were estimated to be among the richest in the continent and its potential agricultural products are considered enough to eradicate hunger in all of Africa. Sudan’s location makes it an intriguing country. Located in northeast Africa, the country is where the Islamic-Arab civilization and the African ones intersect. By disposition, the country was predestined to house diverse groups of people. The advent of British colonizers and the European missionaries added to this diversity. This made the Sudanese national an African, an Arab, a Muslim, a Christian, and animist, a secular, and/or a Shariah-law observant. The politicisation of some of these identities led to international ramifications that placed Sudan at the centre of the ‘War on Terror.’ Since Sudan’s independence in 1956, polarization of ethnic identities was common. This polarization was the most severe in the last two decades when the ruling party politicized the Islamic identity and affiliated itself with radical Islamist ideologues. In the early-mid 1990s, Sudan provided a sanctuary for Bin Laden as his Saudi government banished him. Subsequently, the U.S. claimed that the country was hosting terrorists and