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