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Organisation of African Unity

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The Organisation of African Unity (OAU; French: Organisation de lunité africaine (OUA)) was established on 25 May 1963 in Addis Ababa, with 32 signatory governments.[1] It was disbanded on 9 July 2002 by its last chairperson, South African President Thabo Mbeki, and replaced by the African Union (AU).

The OAU had the following primary aims:

To co-ordinate and intensify the co-operation of African states in order to achieve a better life for the people of Africa.[1]

To defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of African states.

The OAU was also dedicated to the eradication of all forms of colonialism and white minority rule as, when it was established, there were several states that had not yet won their independence or were white minority-ruled. South Africa and Angola were two such countries. The OAU proposed two ways of ridding the continent of colonialism and white minority rule. Firstly, it would defend the interests of independent countries and help to pursue the independence those of still-colonised ones. Secondly, it would remain neutral in terms of world affairs, preventing its members from being controlled once more by outside powers.

A Liberation Committee was established to aid independence movements and look after the interests of already-independent states. The OAU also aimed to stay neutral in terms of global politics, which would prevent them from being controlled once more by outside forces – an especial danger with the Cold War.

The OAU had other aims, too:

Ensure that all Africans enjoyed human rights.

Raise the living standards of all Africans.

Settle arguments and disputes between members – not through fighting but rather peaceful and diplomatic negotiation.

Soon after achieving independence, a number of

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