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Post-cold war military intervention in Africa

MG Ramuhala


Military intervention remains controversial both when it happens and when it fails to happen. Since the end of the Cold War, military intervention has attracted much scholarly interest, and it was demonstrated that several instances of the use of force or the threat to use force without Security Council endorsement were acceptable and necessary. Matters of national sovereignty remain the fundamental principle on which the international order was founded since the Treaty of Westphalia. Territorial integrity of states and non-interference in their domestic affair, continue to be the foundation of international law, codified by the United Nations Charter, and one of the international community‟s decisive factors in choosing between intervention and non-intervention. Nevertheless, since the end of the Cold War, matters of sovereignty and non-interference have been challenged by the emergent human rights discourse amidst genocide and war crimes. The aim of this article is to explain the extent to which military intervention in Africa has evolved since the end of the Cold War in terms of theory, practice and the way military intervention unfolded upon the African continent. This will be achieved by focusing on both successful and unsuccessful cases of military intervention in Africa. The unsuccessful cases include Somalia in 1992, Rwanda in 1994 and Darfur in 2003 on the one hand, and the successful cases being Sierra Leone in 2000 and the Comoros in 2008 on the other. While the unsuccessful cases attracted much scholarly attention and controversy, given their prolonged nature and difficulty in terms of conclusion, successful cases were short in terms of time and attracted little scholarly attention and controversy.

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eISSN: 2224-0020
print ISSN: 2309-9682