The role of regional co-operation in the resolution of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Strzeminska, Anna Dominika Boldireff (2002-12)

Thesis (MA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Since the early 1960s, when the majority of African countries gained independence from colonial powers, the continent has been in turmoil. Conflicts have been extensive, and detrimental to economic, political and above all, social development. Today, Africa is under more pressure than ever to find solutions for these conflicts. The situation is complicated by the complex and difficult challenges brought on by a rapidly globalising world. Also conflicts have often been characterised by internal, as well as regional proportions. Coupled with this, the threats facing Southern Africa are of such a nature that they transcend national boundaries, and have a tendency to effect entire regions as opposed to individual states. Thus threats no longer endanger states, but rather their people. fn view of this, conflict resolution requires a regional approach as well, in order to ensure a viable and lasting solution. This thesis attempts to evaluate the contribution of regional co-operation to conflict resolution in Southern Africa. Two concepts imperative to this evaluation are regionalism and security. Both are examined and juxtaposed. The author determines that the concepts have changed dramatically since the end of the Cold War period, and that new regionalism and new security approaches need to be considered in addressing conflicts, since traditional interpretations have become obsolete, particularly in the developing world. Furthermore, an examination of the international, regional and sub-regional organisations, concerned with conflict management on the continent, is carried out. The United Nations and the Southern African Development Community, together with their efforts in Southern Africa analysed. The author takes the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as a case study, and concludes that the persisting conflict has ensued precisely because regional co-operation was inadequate. The states and leaders involved did not take into account the regional dimensions of the conflict, and also ignored threats to human security. Regional co-operation was at a minimal, and involvement has until now been predominantly unilateral and statist, marked by personal interests, and not those of the population.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Sedert die vroeë sestigerjare, toe die meerderheid Afrikalande onafhankliheid van koloniale magte verkry het, was die kontinent in onrus gehul. Dit was omvattende konflik - konflik wat nadelig was vir ekonomiese, politieke en veral sosiale ontwikkeling. Vandag, meer as ooit tevore, is Afrika onder druk om oplossings te vind vir hierdie konflikte. Die situasie word gekompliseer deur die uitdagings gestel deur 'n vinnig globaliserende wêreld. Die konflik word dikwels deur interne sowel as streeksafmetings gekenmerk. Hiermee saam is die bedreigings wat op Suidelike Afrika 'n invloed het van so 'n aard dat dit nasionale grense ignoreer en die geneigdheid het om totale streke, in teenstelling met individuele state, te beïnvloed. Hierdie bedreigings stel dus nie state in gevaar nie, maar eerder hul mense. Om 'n lewensvatbare en blywende effek te hê, benodig konflikoplossing dus ook 'n streeksbenadering aan te neem. Hierdie tesis poog om die bydrae van streekssamewerking, ten einde konflikoplossing in Suidelike Afrika te bewerkstellig, te evalueer. Beide word ondersoek en in verband gebring. Die skrywer bevind dat die konsepte drasties verander het sedert die einde van die Koue Oorlog tydperk, en dat nuwe regionalisme en nuwe sekuriteit benaderings oorweeg moet word, aangesien tradisionele interpretasies verouderd, veral in die ontwikkelende wêreld, is. Verder word internasionale, regionale en sub-regionale organisasies wat gemoeid is met konflikhantering op die kontinent, ook ondersoek. Die Verenigde Nasies en die Suidelike Afrika Ontwikkelings Gemeenskap (SADe), tesame met hul pogings in Suidelike Africa, word geanaliseer. Die skrywer maak gebruik van die konflik in die Demokratiese Republiek van die Kongo as gevallestudie, en kom tot die gevolgtrekking dat konflik ontstaan het juis omdat regionale samewerking nooit werklik gerealiseer het nie. Die betrokke state en leiers het nie die streeksdimensies van die konflik in ag geneem nie, en ook menslike sekuriteit bedreigings ignoreer. Regionale samewerking was beperk tot In minimum, en betrokkenheid was tot nou toe oorwegend eensydig en staats georienteerd, en gekenmerk deur persoonlike belange, en nie dié van die bevolking nie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/53164
This item appears in the following collections: