Amidst Military Coup d’états Is the Military Regime Coming Back in Africa

Amidst Military Coup d’états: Is the Military Regime Coming Back in Africa

Amidst Military Coup d’états Is the Military Regime Coming Back in Africa ? The taking over of governments  by force of arms or through coup d’états  appears to be gradually becoming the new normal in Africa, especially in West Africa, where the armed forces of Mali, Guinea Conakry and Burkina Faso have taken over the reins of government.

The dark era of military governments, which took away the joy of independence from Africa, may be creeping into the continent again.

In West Africa, Colonel Assimi Goita of Mali and Colonel Mammady Doumbouya of the Armed Forces of Guinea-Conakry started this ugly trend, a bad example, which other armed forces may be tempted to follow if not stopped now.

In this regard, the African Union and ECOWAS countries should take swift actions against the leader of the junta in Burkina Faso, Lieutenant Colonel Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba, and suppress the rebellion in the country.

The ECOWAS Heads of State Summit should give the coup leaders in Ouagadougou an ultimatum to surrender and restore the democratic institutions in the country. Any discussion about organising a future election in Burkina Faso should not even be discussed or entertained.

There are credible reports in the public domain that Damiba and other senior military officers in Burkina Faso have been stealing funds allocated for arms procurement  to build lavish mansions  in Ouagadougou, and live large at the expense of ordinary soldiers, who are owed several months of salaries.

This coup may have been staged to cover up such high-level corruption and other crimes, such as arms trafficking, diversion of public funds and other criminal activities by top-ranking Burkinabe military officers.

Damiba was also one of the arch loyalists and hit men of  deposed President Blaise Campaore from (1987- 2014), who most likely participated in the assassination of former President Thomas Sankara in 1987.

His carried the patriotic tones of Sankara to deceive the public, but behind the mask is Campaore, who will soon be rehabilitated and returned to continue his reign of terror.

The three coups in West Africa are for now a small flame which should be extinguished, before it becomes a raging inferno that will sweep across Africa. Sooner or later, the Armed Forces of Niger Republic, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, and Benin Republic will be tempted to take up arms against their governments. Experience has shown that soldiers who are barely literate for the simple fact of carrying weapons, like armed robbers, seize control of states to rob and loot government treasuries, before being kicked out. And sometimes, this may take decades.

The AU and ECOWAS must be resolute in destroying these regimes now, or eventually be confronted with multiple failed states, which the solders must have ravaged and ruined. Of the three states, the junta in Burkina Faso is the most dangerous and ECOWAS/AU must be uncompromising in dealing with it.

On Mali, the isolation and sanctions imposed on the junta should remain and they will work. If the impasse and resistance should continue, further stringent measures should be taken, which may involve military action to remove Goita and his goons from office.

The 16 months electoral transition period to elect a civilian government cannot be extended and Goita will not be a candidate at the election. If these conditions are not met, a war between Goita and the continent should be declared.

In Guinea-Conakry, the coup leader, Doumbouya, has opened the Guinean borders to the Malian junta to break the sanctions against the coup makers. Doumbouya by this act has chosen to confront and fight ECOWAS/AU countries. He must, therefore, be sanctioned accordingly.

The Armed Forces of Africa, especially, West Africa should follow the good examples of their counterparts in South Africa, Senegal, India, Britain, America, and Australia, trained professional and apolitical institutions that do not get involved in political matters, even when civil unrests are at the breaking point.

After clearing the mess in the three renegade countries, the root causes of the wars in Mali and Burkina Faso must be addressed with the support of ECOWAS, AU and the international community.

The request by the Touraregs in Northern Mali for autonomy within a federated Mali must be discussed and negotiated for a peaceful resolution. If the war in Mali is resolved, it will lead to the resolution of other wars in the Sahel region.

Let all Armed Forces in West Africa be warned that military coup in the sub-region is anathema, which will not be tolerated. Military officers should aspire to become Generals and not Heads of State.

A Article written by Rasheed Akinkuolie

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