The recent politics of democratization in Sub-Saharan Africa have been determined by three intertwined sets of events: the end of the Cold War, the rise of regional powers, and the intensification of internal – often ethnic – conflicts. At the same time, Europe and the US have tended to withdraw from peripheral regions which are no longer relevant to their primary interests. This has led to their reliance on regional hegemons – local states – to keep law and order in their areas of influence (Chase, Hill and Kennedy 1996). These developments are taking place at a time when the UN’s capacity to manage peace keeping missions in Africa is also shrinking (Kennedy and Rusett 1995; Carlsson 1995; Mendez 1995). As a result, regional powers are now more able to intervene in transborder politics than before 1990. They do so primarily to defend or extend their own interests, but find it necessary to mask their interventions under the guise of humanitarian or peace-keeping operations. In other words, regional hegemons need to secure international support for their interventions.