Head of the military junta addresses the press
A few years ago African Union (AU) even United Nations (UN) agreed that they will no longer recognize governments resulting from coup d’ Etats. When this was announced, before long, the army took over in Mauritania in 2006 and nothing was done to kick the military regime out of office. Thereafter, it was Guinea’s turn, the army took over. Again, thereafter, namely 2010 in Niger, the same repeated. This was referred to as a good coup simply because it kicked out a dictator by instituting another.
The recent coup took place in Mali where Amadu Toumani Toure was deposed just a month before election in which he would not have to run due to expiration of his constitutional two terms. This creates many more questions than answers. Did Toure conspire with the army to keep a grip on power? Did the army conspire to ruin the elections? What is the upshot of all this? Various media outlet pinned down the cause of the coup that is the spillover of Libyan revolution whereby Malian Tuaregs opposed to government in Bamako used to live in Libya where the strong man, Muammar Gaddafi used them to remain in power. This time many buzzwords are likely to come out proving this. Blowback, skip off, rebound and many more, will be heard. After Gaddafi was overthrown and summarily executed by a mob justice; Malian Tuaregs left Libya with their weapons so as to form a militant group the Azawad National Liberation Movement (MNLA).
While international media is branding the coup in Mali a spillover from Libya, Malians look at it differently. “The Libyan crisis didn't cause this coup but certainly revealed the malaise felt within the army," says Malian newspaper columnist Adam Thiam.
He adds, "President Amadou Toumani Toure hasn't been active in tackling drug trafficking and al-Qaeda fighters, and the emergence of new rebel movements only added to the soldiers' frustration." This speaks volume if anything. Drug trafficking is, however ignored in East Africa, is not only dangerous for users but also for the governments that ignore it. In Tanzania in 2007, for example, one MP question the ‘efforts’ of Tanzania’s government to fight drug trafficking. The MP died mysteriously just a few months after questioning the authorities. The simple logic is either drug barons can keep president in power if they use him to rake money even by endangering his own people or kick him out if he doesn’t seriously take on them as it was the case in Mali.
The story does not end up there. Reasonable military personnel can decide to take over in order to address the anomaly or greedy one can decide to take over after being sidelined in this lucrative business. Sometimes they can do so for national security as it the case in Mali. This was echoed by Capt. Amadou Haya Sanogo, the coup leader as this, "We are not here to confiscate any power but we are here to have an army and security forces available to assume the national security,"
So it should be clearly understood that drug trafficking, apart from bringing quick weath to rulers who support and pertake it, can also bring the same outfit down all depending on various reasons as discussed above. So no president is safer who either cooperate with drug barons or ignore them in this chutzpah. The reasonable thing to do is to take on them before they establish themselves so as to become a threat to the government and the country in general.
Africa has been in the first front to condemn coups and suspend the membership of countries under military juntas even without looking at underlying reasons for coups. But is this enough? Can AU exert any pressure to any military junta whereby it is bankrupt and dependent on donors among who are even drug barons and other international con men and criminals? Ironically, for the case of Mali, under Ecowas inititives, Burkinafaso’s president who got in power by the way of coup was selected to put pressure on the junta!
Again, does AU whose majority senior members came to power the same way have the moral ground to ban or suspend coup makers? so too, some members of AU came to power by means of ‘civilian coups’ o in that they rigged elections to remain in power or by tampering with the constitutions as it is currently going on in Senegal. Can such people, through their club, have moral authority to castigate recent coup makers?
Currently, there are presidents who came to power such as Yahya Jammeh, Denis Sassou Ngweso, Idris Derby, Francois Bozize, Omar Bashir, Blaise Compaore and Theodoro Obiang Nguema.
Others who came to power by the barrel of gun are Yoweri Museveni, Paul Kagame, Ethiopia PM Meles Zenawi.
The other group is that of presidents who got in power just because their fathers were presidents. Those include, Joseph Kabila, Foure Eyadema and Ali Omar Bongo.
Another group involves those who came to power through controversial elections or rigging the votes. Those are Mwai Kibaki, Jakaya Kikwete and Robert Mugabe.
Back to the coup in Mali, the international community especially UN condemned it. For it is not a good coup. If the deposed ruler would have been a stone in the shoe for some powers, it would be called a good coup even though there is no good coup in reality. are coups coming back through the back door?
Source: The African Executive Magazine April 11, 2012.