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An evaluation of South Africa's post-apartheid foreign policy towards peacekeeping in Southern African Development Community (SADC): case study of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

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The promotion of peace and stability in the SADC region is the key component of South Africa's foreign policy in the post - apartheid era. The White Paper on South Africa's foreign policy, states that, South Africa accords a central importance to its immediate African neighborhood and the African continent. Therefore, South Africa using its post - apartheid foreign policy should make means to intervene as DRC remains in the barriers of intrastate wars after almost half century of colonialism. A two-way strategy has been adopted by South Africa to deal with Congolese conflict including military and mediation processes. The main problem that South Africa encountered in the management and resolution of the Congolese conflict was the absence of an organizational structure for security mechanism at the time of the conflict and this has led to ad hoc arrangements. This study seeks to reveal whether the role of South Africa in the DRC conflict was successful or not. South Africa needs to address issues of financial and logistical weakness and the lack of political consensus among leaders on collective security norms and practices. In addition, there has been a need for DRC to take full responsibility for its own domestic problems, so that South Africa does not concern itself with the internal affairs of its member state, unless invited to do so by the concerned state. The research was conducted using a qualitative research approach. The study draws heavily on the data gathered from two research schedules (that included DIRCO officials and Academics). In-depth interviews and discussions from the 30 participants were adopted and the study was guided by Rupesinghe (1996) theory of conflict resolution. The study found that South Africa in using its post-apartheid foreign policy played a prominent role as the intermediary facilitator and guarantor of DRC peace process. Under President Mbeki administration the intentions of the intervention in DRC were clear not only on policy but also in action whereas under Zuma's administration intervention in the DRC peacekeeping quest was vague and confused.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.