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The re-emergence of the Junta

Military coup ravages Africa like many part of the 3rd world in the early 50s till the late 90s, Africa as a continent also suffers its fair share in several military coups within its continent, where selected mostly young and able military personnel took over government forcefully, either by killing the existing government or forcefully dethronement. This also involves them taking over key governmental institutions, communication site, declaring new decrees and compulsory suspension of the pre-existing constitutions so they can prove the dawn of military council as the highest law making body of the land.

Emannuel Bodjolle lead the first coup that brought about the paradigm shift and trajectory towards a new phase of military intervention and toppling of civilian government across almost all African state, this military coup ousted Togolese President Sylvanus Olympio in 1963.

Most African state as of then, were newly free off the shackles of colonialism, after years of revolutionary movement and campaign for independent against colonial rule, colonial occupation and recognition of Blacks across Africa and many other colonized territory. Bodjolle’s, Togolese coup serves as a bush burning effect and a mirror to other military coups in Africa, with successful attempt in Gabon by 1964 lead by Jeane-Haire, Nzeogwu Kaduna orchestrating a similar coup in Nigeria by 1966, Ghana also experienced coup in 1966, Mauritania in 1979, Gambia in 1994 and so many other successful and attempted coup in Africa within this period of time.

Decline of coup in the late 90s to early 2000s is majorly attributed to world effort in propagating for democratization, enforcement of economic and political embargo on coup plotters and its regime, efforts made by regional organizations such as African Union, ECOWAS, and other international organizations like United Nations, European Union and Commonwealth in distancing themselves from coup plotters and its regime.

Concise effort of the United States of America and other global power in championing the cause for civil rule, lead civil societies and pressure groups to provide ways of educating citizens of African nations on the need to return to democracy and the political elites also recognizing greater opportunity and chances of staying longer in power through election, as it could be easily manipulated in these part of the world.
Until lately, the reemergence and re-occurrences of military coup in Africa has left many to wonder, will there ever be an end to military coup in Africa. The military coup and remover of the long standing sit tight president of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe in November 2017 as the leader of the ZANU-PF party and replacing him with the first vice president brought to an end of 37 years of reign and leadership of Mugabe in Zimbabwe.

The new wave of coup also appeared in Sudan, where the Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir was overthrown by the Sudanese army on April 11, 2019 after a strong political rally and protest by the people of Sudan seeking to end over 30 years rule of Omar in Sudan as the president.

The death of Idris Derby and installment of his son Mahamat Derby Itno as a military head of state, who is a military officer and has serve as a former envoy to Saudi Arabia also shows Africa as a continent that lacks respect for rule of law and weak governmental institutions, where military taking over from civilian on the basis of fostering stability and for greater national cohesion. The spread of military coup never seems to end in Africa any time soon, with Colonel Assimi Goitta taking over power in a similar fashion on May 24, 2021 in Mali and the latest among all erupting in Guinea where president Alpha Conde was captured by members of his arm forces, coup lead by special force commander Mamady Doumbouya.

Many would trace or postulate many theories or reasons for the resurgent and the reoccurrence of coup in Africa of today, but there are some underlining issues and reality that has to be critically analyzed and examine to understand the Nexus between reality of Africa societies of today and the reoccurrence of military coup in Africa.

Firstly many recent coup in Africa today are mostly against the sit tight president or head of state, where many have spent decades on power through either military autocratic dictatorship or taking advantage of the weak state institution and tweaking of the constitution in favour of mostly elongating more years in office, which in turn frustrate many of its oppositions and popular that are calling for new leadership, a very good example of this is Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe.

One of the major issues bringing end to civilian regime and taking over of civilian administration by men in uniform in Africa of today is economic hardship and when the existing government is becoming unpopular among its citizens, whereby protest among the disgruntled and frustrated citizens is popular and largely participated, as many African countries military lacks or have little orientation in handling and staying put during unrest and public turmoil, many see such moment as golden opportunity to take over power from the existing government. Omar Al-Bashir is a great example when relating to above the statement, many Sudanese protested against bad economy, rise in increase of bread price and many other stable food, the protest consume the government, which gives the military the chance to take over from him as he has become unpopular among his people.

Other major causes of military coup in Africa are corruption, gross abuse of power, politics and ethnocentrism, many coup plotters in Africa base most of their reason on corruption, which has grown to become a pandemic that has over the years hinder development in Africa and has contributed to immense poverty in the Africa region, making Africa poverty capital of the world, when there is prevalence of poverty, insurgency tends to high due to lack of job, cases of ethnicity and abuse of power by the government of the day to suppress the voice if the disgruntled aggrieved which mostly are political, ethnical or religiously incline that tend to leave a gap and reasons for military intervention as have been seen over time in Africa.

Lastly overzealousness, slight foreign trait of coup plotters has been observed lately. Overtime many believed that most coup plotters are mostly power drunk and uneducated young soldiers, but recent event have proven otherwise, Ahmed ibn Auf that lead the Sudanese coup was once a Minister of Defence, Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and one time vice president of Sudan. The nexus between coup plotters and being trained abroad can also deduce from recent coup plotter and military takeover in Africa like the son of late Idris Derby who was trained in Aix-en-provence in France, Colonel Goitta who also lead the coup in Mali was also trained in United States of America, France and Germany, while the leader of the latest coup in Africa; leader of coup in Guinea was also trained in France as a special forces.

One would think with the level of foreign training received by these men in uniform and the standard of respect of the rule of law these countries portrayed, coup would be less expected from such personality. Resurgence of coup in Africa is something condemnable and should be shun, but coup will continue to persist when issues of corruption, sit tight leaders, dictators, no respect of the rule of law, weak institution and downturn in economy continue to persist in most Africa society.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Mohammed

    Nice write-up, very captivating

  2. Neonate

    Quite an interesting read. Indeed corruption, ethnocentrism and a group of other things are the main genesis of coup in Africa.

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