Burkina-Faso Coup: Continent undergoing third wave of military takeovers - Political Scientist

Coup Detat Burkina Faso military arrests President Kabore, suspends constitution

Tue, 25 Jan 2022 Source: GNA

Dr Alidu Seidu, a political scientist at the University of Ghana, has observed that economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are creating a fertile ground for a third wave of military takeovers in Africa.

Like previous waves of military takeovers that had occurred in the mid to late '60s and those that occurred around the late '70s and early '80s, he said there seemed to be a euphoria surrounding the recent takeovers, which had a worrying bandwagon effect.

He, therefore, advised democratically elected leaders to be "honest and transparent during these crucial times" while they attempted to ease the plight of citizens.

"You don't keep adding to the burden of the people when they are already suffering and when the people begin to complain, then people who want to take the opportunity to satisfy their personal interest will do that," he said.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency on Monday, Dr Seidu advised the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to be proactive in forestalling the usurping of power by the military by ensuring that Heads of Member States did not compromise the democratic credentials of their countries for personal interests.

He observed that any military intervention supported by the majority of citizens was difficult to deal with, and so recommended the use of dialogue "and so if you want to use force and ignore consensus building, then it will go for a long haul."

"ECOWAS may impose sanctions on them, but most of the member states will behind the scenes subvert the sanctions," he noted and said that research on democracy and other indicators used to measure democratic acceptability had shown a great recession of democracy across the world with countries thinking its practice was being understood to favour a few and impoverish the masses.

That, he, however, said, did not justify military takeover in democratic dispensations irrespective of personal grievances or perceived mismanagement.

"We have to let the military understand that regardless of grievances of the people, people should have the final say in changing a government through the ballot box," he said.

He was of the view that Ghana could continue to be a beckon of democracy on the continent if its leaders continued to remain sensitive to the plight of their citizens.

"You cannot bring a policy out that can satisfy everybody, so at least if the government is making the effort to meet the people halfway in terms of their struggles, then people will see the effort," he said.

The army in Burkina Faso, on Monday, January 24, 2022, announced the ousting of President Roch Kabore, suspended the constitution, dissolved the government and the national assembly, and closed the country's borders.

In October 2021, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan successfully led a coup to take over the government in Sudan, while in September 2021, the armed forces captured the then Guinean President, Alpha Conde, and dissolved the constitution and the government.

In May last year, Col Assimi Goita, an officer who carried out a coup in 2020, ousted the Malian President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane for "failing their duties."

Source: GNA