The Role of Military Alliances in Conflict Intervention in Africa A Case Study of SADC Military Alliance Intervention in the Democratic Republic of Congo,1998-2002
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The study covers some important aspects related to SADC military alliance intervention in the DRC conflict from 1998 to 2002. Contrary to the argument that the intervention escalated the conflict, the study comes up with another line of argument. First is the rationality of the intervention. The three SADC countries namely Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe that intervened on the side of Mr L Kabila, did so to meet sub regional and international obligations. The economic interests that tend to dominate the intervention debate were not the primary objectives of such military action. Second is the issue of the legality of the intervention itself. The study argues that indeed the intervention was in line with international law, the idea of collective self defence. There were relevant SADC protocols that also supported the military action of this kind. Third and most important, relates to conflict resolution processes. Far from escalating the conflict, the SADC military alliance's intervention actually created a conducive atmosphere for conflict resolution processes. The study therefore shows that without such military action,Kabila's government could have fallen. That alone, could have pushed the conflict to uncontrollable levels. Through military action, Kabila was raised to the same level with that of the aggressors paving way for a negotiated settlement. For the first time after four decades, DRC was able to conduct democratic elections because of the SADC military alliance's intervention. It was therefore through the military alliance's timely response supported by its conflict resolution institutions that conflict resolution was realised in DRC. The other actors in this conflict resolution process came in because the SADC military alliance had created a conducive atmosphere for those processes.