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Why is the coup resurrected in Africa?

The seize of these powers threatens the reversal of the democratic process that Africa has experienced over the last two decades and its return to the era of coups as a standard.

According to one studyIn sub-Saharan Africa, between 1956 and 2001, there were 80 successful coups and 108 unsuccessful coups. This is an average of four times a year. This number has been halved From then until 2019, most African nations turned to democracy, which once again became dominant. why?

During the early decades of coup d’etat, African coup leaders offered virtually the same reasons for overthrowing the government. It is corruption, mismanagement and poverty.

Leader Guinea’s recent coupColonel Mamady Dumbowya repeated these justifications, Quote “Poverty and Endemic Corruption” As a reason to overthrow the 83-year-old President Alpha Conde. Last year, the soldiers who led the coup in neighboring Mali said “theft” and “Bad governance“Similarly, the Sudanese and Zimbabwean generals who defeated Omar al-Bashir in 2019 and Robert Mugabe in 2017 developed similar discussions.

Although worn out, these justifications still resonate with many Africans today for the simple reason that they continue to accurately portray the reality of their country. Moreover, in many countries, people feel that these problems are getting worse.

Research network Afro barometer conducts survey In 19 African countries, 6 out of 10 respondents say they have increased corruption in their own country (63% in Guinea), and two out of three do poor jobs for the government to fight it. It states that it is doing.

In addition, 72% believe that if the general public reports corruption to the authorities, “risk retaliation or other adverse effects”. Africans are a sign that public institutions not only participate in the corruption system, but also believe that they are active advocates.

As for poverty, the already tragic situation is exacerbated by the fragile economic blow of Africa deprived of the coronavirus pandemic.

1 in 3 Today, people are unemployed in Nigeria, West Africa’s largest economy. The same applies to South Africa, The most industrialized African country. Currently, the number of very poor people in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to exceed half of the population, 500 million.
this is The youngest continent In a world with a median age of 20 And the rapidly growing population It is already intensifying the fierce competition for resources more than anywhere else.

These conditions are for desperate young Africans who welcome the coup and the coup that promises radical change, losing patience with corrupt leaders, as witnessed on the streets of Guinea after hijacking. Creates fertile conditions.

But, like the 1970s coup, these scenes of joy are probably short-lived, says Joseph Sunny, vice president of the African Center at the American Peace Institute. “The first reaction of what I see on the street is pleasing, but soon people will demand action … and I’m not sure if the military can provide expectations, basic service provision, etc. Freedom.” He says.

Threat to democratic interests

What is clear is that these coups pose a serious threat to the democratic interests that African countries have achieved in recent decades. Worryingly, research shows that many Africans are increasingly refraining from believing that elections can provide the leaders they want.

Survey conducted in 19 African countries In 2019/20, 4 out of 10 respondents (42%) will ensure that the election “MP reflects the views of voters” and “enable voters to eliminate bad leaders.” I have shown that I think it works well for you.

In other words, less than half believe that elections guarantee representativeness and accountability, which are key elements of functional democracy.

According to the survey, in 11 countries that have been voted regularly since 2008, the belief election that voters can eliminate unprofitable leaders has reduced the number of citizens by 11 percentage points. It’s not that Africans no longer want to elect leaders through elections, but that many simply believe that their political system is gamed.

Leaders like Conde, whose testimony was taken, are part of the problem. The only reason he was in power until the coup was that he made a constitutional amendment in 2020 to allow him to serve his third term as president. General practice by some leaders of the continentFrom Yowelim Seveni in Uganda to Alasan Watara in Côte d’Ivoire.
Mali and # 39; President resigns after being arrested in a military coup

The African Union has legitimately condemned the Guinean coup, but its response to such constitutional abuse has been modest.

Recognized as these double standards, the elite conspiracy creates the perfect environment for young swashbuckler officers like 41-year-old Dumbouya to intervene and promise to save the day.

“If people are crushed by the elite, it’s up to the army to give them freedom.” Guinea’s new leader saidQuoted former Ghanaian President Jerry Rawlings He himself led two coups

It’s probably no coincidence that Rawlings was very effective in expressing the anger that the Ghanaians felt against their political elite when they led the military regime in the 1980s. Desperate citizens living in political systems that they often believe have been legitimately modified can easily be seduced by anti-elite, anti-corruption rhetoric, coupled with the promise of new things.

Unfortunately, we need to be prepared for a possible coup in Africa over the next few years. They should be expected in poorer and more vulnerable countries, not in richer countries with strong institutions such as South Africa, Ghana and Botswana. So are Mali, Niger, Chad, and Guinea, where coups and coup attempts have recently taken place.

15 out of 20 countries 2021 Vulnerability Index Africa including countries such as Cameroon, Central African Republic, Somalia and South Sudan, as well as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia (which has experienced intense internal conflicts for nearly a year) and the most populous countries in Africa such as Nigeria. I’m in Africa. Country.
Men march from prison camps.Then the corpse floats in the river

As the likelihood of a coup increases, Africa is generally unpredictable and unstable, negative for investors and potentially deteriorating economic conditions.

Is it possible to reverse this unwanted trend? Yes, but the international accusations of coups in Guinea and elsewhere are important as a deterrent to becoming other powers, but the only actor who really has the power to reverse this tendency of concern is The African leader himself.

They are responsible in the field and their reaction to these recent events will be a decisive factor. They need to rekindle the belief that democracy can bring to Africans. But if the issues still cited to justify the coup continue to worsen in today’s African democracy, the temptation to try something else is dangerously seductive for both the coup and the public. Will continue to be.

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