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The Participation of SADC and ECOWAS in Military Operations: The Weight of National Interests in Decision-Making

  • Rodrigo Tavares
Abstract:

Over the last decade, African regional organizations have gained considerable scope in peacekeeping and peace enforcement. Two subregional organizations in particular, ECOWAS and SADC, have gathered significant experience in military interventions in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Lesotho, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This article assesses the decision-making processes of both organizations ahead of the interventions and concludes that African states participate in military interventions for reasons of national and personal interests rather than humanitarian reasons or out of a primary interest in preserving regional stability. The article draws from extensive fieldwork in four African countries.

Résumé:

Durant la dernière décennie les organismes régionaux africains ont gagné un terrain considerable dans les domaines de la protection et du contrôle de la paix. Dans ce scénario, deux organisations départementales en particulier, ECOWAS et SADC ont acquis une expérience importante dans le domaine des interventions militaires (au Libéria, au Sierra Leone, en Guinée-Bissau, en Cote d'Ivoire, au Lesotho, et en République Démocratique du Congo). Cet article évalue la prise de décision des deux organisations en amont des interventions, et conclut que les états africains participent à des interventions militaires pour des raisons d'intérêt national et personnel plutôt que pour des raisons humanitaires ou dans un intérêt primordial de préserver la stabilité dans la région. Cet article se base sur une étude de terrain approfondie s'étendant sur quatre pays africains.

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