Since transforming itself from the Organisation of African Unity into the African Union, the AU has aspired, among its many lofty goals, to silence guns across the continent by 2020. This aspiration has eluded it dismally. The AU is drifting towards irrelevance.

Two factions of Sudan’s armed forces — the paramilitary Rapid Support Force and the statutory army — have been at each other’s throats around Khartoum for months. A fortnight ago, army generals staged another coup in Niger. The eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has hardly known peace even though it has had an elected government for nearly two decades. The Horn of Africa has an uneasy peace...

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