Hawks, Doves or Penguins? A Critical Review of the SADC Military Intervention in the DRC

"The aim of this paper is to examine the decisions taken by some of the major actors in SADC in respect of the conflict in the DRC, following the distress call by Laurent Kabila’s government. The paper seeks to analyse the implications of the decisions (or the lack of decisions) relating to sub-regional cohesion, both then and in the future. The future itself may be unclear in the sense that the conflict in the DRC has not only continued beyond the military intervention of some SADC states but has raised the possibility of sub-regional involvement in a similar manner as the survival of the current regime in the DRC becomes increasingly uncertain. The paper includes in its coverage of the various policy positions in the military intervention, the implications of these positions for selected players in the region as well as for the regional structure itself. The selected players include Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe as the group of states that formed the ‘SADC Allies’ and sent troops to the DRC in response to the request by the DRC government; South Africa as a sub-regional powerhouse which did not send troops to the troubled central African state; Tanzania as an SADC state sharing the longest border with the DRC but apparently preferring to remain neutral in the entire affair; and Zambia, another state sharing a fairly long border with the DRC and opting to take on a mediatory role."