By Benny Gudo.
April 19th, 2019(Nyamilepedia) — It is crystal clear that many ruling regimes across Africa ups their stranglehold on power following a coup d’etat that toppled strongman Sudan President Omar Al-Bashir, the man on the ICC wanted list of those perpetrating mass murder in the Darfur region. The military overthrew Bashir after several months of protests in Khartoum.
Though news of Bashir downfall was received with wild cheers and thunderous applause across Sudan, it sent very big shudders to the demagogues in Africa. To this day, some are plotting overhaul changes on their military establishment in order to thwart potential replica of a Sudan style. Big man Yoweri Museveni of Uganda is the first to show everyone that he fears the military mighty by crisscrossing their barracks pledging honeymoon as a way of buying loyalty. This necessarily means that he is fearing another Sudan in his country.
WHY REFUSING MILITARY COUNCIL?
Though Bashir was compelled to relinquish power, thanks to the military interventions, demonstrations have not swelled. The people are pushing for civillian rule not the military council. How well this shall be achieved remains a secret for now but the people are crying for one such order because once bitten, twice shy. The country was run by military men for quite some time and nothing improved, now it’s high time that order be overturned. True, the people of Sudan have a strong reason to deny a junta led government. For sure there is no difference between the old regime and this new one compounded by Bashir’s die hard former lieutenants who took part in various crimes of humanity in Darfur. It’s just old wine in a new bottle, the people have a reason to reject it, thus.
More so, they have seen that in Zimbabwe where people are being brutalized by the military imposed government that usurped power from former dictator Robert Gabriel Mugabe, a stun friend of Omar Al-Bashir. How then will the military council be trusted the world over if some of them hijacked and derail the people’s cause?
It is a matter of fact that the military guys must cede power and hand it back to the people who are the custodians of leadership power. Should they maintain adamance, it will orchestrate further turmoil in Sudan.
IGAD and AU STANCE.
In the wave of the bloody protests in Sudan, IGAD never issued stern warning on crackdown instigators nor armed militias aligned to the government of Bashir who were murdering people in cold blood simply because they were out registering their displeasure on governance issues. Dozens got killed in IGAD watch. How then could they condemn coup leaders against a leader killing the masses? It shows and exposes IGAD insensitivities on humanitarian issues than it is on political leaders especially the ruling elite.
Relatively, AU issued stern warning upon usurpation of power by the military but never regret the way it responded on the Bashir government’s heavy headedness on protestors to which several dozens succumbed to death. Why neglecting the blood of dozens Sudanese at the expense of protecting Bashir rule. Shame on greedy African Union and her clueless secretariat that serves no purpose.
To AU, its villain approach bereft of the people’s will deemed evil and no one will support her selfish whims under normal circumstances save for a few benefiting out of this status quo. As the people from every corner of our continent gravitate the change message it is a burden upon AU and regional groups that are working tirelessly to blockade the winds of change. Nonetheless, as the change message wreck havoc in the continent, its a slap in the face for AU which lost the ideals and principles of once Organization of African Unity (OAU), the brainchild of our founding fathers papa Julius Nyerere, Kwame Nkrumah and our own eccentric Robert Gabriel Mugabe.
If AU sticks to its principles on governance issues it has to deal with saboteurs head on. An effective method is needed at this point otherwise Africa will slide into a new narrative on change of government. So far Egypt, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Algeria, Sudan and Libya opened a Pandora box. The military involvement in mass uprisings is rapidly shaping our political spectrum which is very toxic on democratisation and constitutionalism.
How to end this narrative is a mammoth task on the part of AU. To deescalate the system, AU must uphold effective placements of measures that can neutralize coup d’etat not only those ‘press statements’. A written warning can not serve any purpose on this current juncture given the proliferation of coups against democratically elected governments, hence need to restore constitutional order. However the main contrast is on how some of these governments rose to power. Others are using democracy only as a tool that defends their stranglehold on power yet they assume through dubious means. In Kenya for instance the world witnessed a very serious scenario under which the people’s favourite leader was robbed off victory by the government of Uhuru Kenyatta, where the electoral commission in connivance with Kenyatta cooked his victory using computers. So the people in Kenya has a computer generated President. What do we say if the military and Kenyans usurp power from Kenyatta?
The same in Zimbabwe and Zambia where the military is playing very instrumental roles on preserving ruling party governance, if they (military) decide to withdraw their allegiance do we say it’s a coup d’etat? These are some of the challenges AU needs to address first before it points fingers on the military behavior. Otherwise the military men and women are no longer a problem, we have to pile blame squarely on political leaders who are abusing the office powers to substantiate their bidding. If the military withdraw their support then an outcry emanates, why? What do we say if the military continues scaffolding kleptocracy in their countries? Myself, I don’t see any reason why we should criticize military involvement in pacifying constitutional order in such cases but they have to restrain from replacing a demagogue with a despot.
Current leaders have a constitutional duty, that of, making sure that the rights of their people be respected at all slots. In times of waning support, this is where most leaders resort to opaque or criminal ways of preserving their rule. If it means killings or volatiles, they will simply employ that for power retention. Thus, before these leaders respect the notion that power is something which can be transferred peacefully from one person to another then we will still have irrevocable problems. Why do we need force for power retention?
This African obsession is an affront to our democracy because we are heading towards a new narrative where we need the military in order to initiate change. Is that what we all want? No doubt, we dislike this system more than the way we dislike the headmasters of despots. Power must be transferred through the ballot paper though our African leaders oppose it.
In Zimbabwe, we saw the gruesome murder of at least 7 unarmed protestors on the 1st of August 2018 simply because someone just wanted to retain power but the very person is totally failing to administer the country as people are enclaved in adjacent poverty. Filling station queues are the orders of each day, no cash, prizes of essential goods and serves flares on daily basis, whereas corruption is at its peak. Almost every sector is feeling the brunt of hyperinflation rates escalating every minute, every day.
To this day, the government has no spine on how to deal with the above scourge save for blaming Western imposed economic sanctions. But the funny thing is that the same government is not in anyway dealing with the root causes of the said sanctions. So one would ask that, should people suffer, die or maimed for the sake of sanctions which they have played no role.
It’s a very terrible situation for the suffering masses in Zimbabwe because even the regional grouping SADC has no cue. Instead of persuading the government to address real issues that may either improve the people’s lives, we heard them calling for sanctions removal for close to a decade now yet their voices are falling on deaf eyes as those who imposed them continue to do so following ongoing human rights violations by the government. So far are not yet met minimum conditions for sanctions removal and there is no sign of reform on the government part of Zanu-PF led government.
When the military engineered a coup that toppled Mugabe on 17 November 2017 the same SADC remained docile. However on the 14 January 2019 fuel prize protests at which 17 protestors were shot dead by the same military, SADC came out denouncing sanctions. One would ask why barking on the wrong tree but we know the nature and traits of our own SADC, its a group of neocolonialists wearing a black face. They are capitalists in nature who hate upliftment of the poverty-ridden masses.
It does not end there in Zimbabwe but the same grouping’s posture in DRC leaves many irritated in that, to them, they saw brewing crisis of leadership when Felix Tshisekedi outclassed their own man Joseph Kabila. But when the same Kabila unleashed soldiers who killed Tshisekedi’s unarmed supporters in Kinshasa there was no crisis. Crisis, in their own mentality, comes when one of their own man faces stern challenges from the opposition.
In Zambia again, we saw how intolerant SADC and AU are when president Edgar Lungu ordered the arbitrary arrests of his strong opponent Hakainde Hichilema (HH), the man who gave Lungu the good run of his money at the national plebiscite. While HH in police cells for months the same SADC felt democracy and rule of law however in the event that one day the tables turned that is when democracy erodes in their mentality.
As Salva Kiir and Yoweri Museveni are butchering opponents in their respective countries, IGAD is feeling and smelling democracy but when Dr Riek Machar rose to defend his tribemen from genocidal pro-Kiir militias, the same grouping coalesced and put him in confinement. No doubt, they love to see their own man, Salva Kiir Mayardit, laughing on the lifeless bodies of the minority Nuer tribe. That is how democracy and good governance goes in their mindset.
In nutshell, the world must know where we are failing as a continent before they start to provide budget and logistical support to our governments. At this juncture I won’t hesitate to say Africa on its own has entered a new phase encompassed by new revolution spearhead by the youth and women who have fallen victims of the current neocolonialists. So whoever wishing to have a say in Africa must support the people’s cause which is leaving no stone unturned, from Cape to Cairo. With or without external support the beleaguered people of Africa shall achieve it.
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