African solution to an African problem? The ineffectiveness of regional intervention in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
This study addresses two major questions relating to conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (1996--2001): Why has regional intervention failed?; and How could international intervention have helped? To answer these questions, an explanatory case study was used to explain the ineffectiveness of regional interventions in the DRC, looking at the conflict through the lens of existing theory on external and regional intervention. Potential advantages of international intervention were then explored. A main finding was that, due to obstacles and lack of support at the international (United Nations) and continental (Organization of African Unity) levels, the burden of conflict resolution fell to regional states whose bilateral interventions became extensions of their foreign policies rather than interventions for conflict resolution. Bilateral state interventions, by their very nature, tend to be more biased with greater interests involved than do collective interventions sanctioned by a regional or international organization.