Implications of the Coup D’état in Africa

697 Words3 Pages
After African independences, the new political authorities made the army the ultimate symbol of sovereignty. The creation of an army in the new states appeared as a symbol of sovereignty, a means of ensuring the defense and territorial integrity, and a foundation for nation-building. But soon, the military institution went astray, vitiated the process of building a state of law, stifling in various countries all forms of political, social and economic service to the people. Drifting away from its traditional mission of ensuring the sovereignty and the preservation of the integrity of the territory, the army insidiously imposed itself as the instrument of power. Weapons instead of urns became the safest and quickest method of gaining control of the state: the coup d’état as "violence for founding" a new order becomes the norm. It is symptomatic that in Africa a successful coup is almost always greeted with enthusiasm by the people affected by the old order, deceived by the junta’s promises for democratization and development.

Several presidents came to power through a coup d’état. They know that without the loyalty of the military, their powers are ephemeral. Therefore, they spend a lot on presidential security brigades, and other elite troops, whose command is given to people close to the president. These units are composed of individuals from the same clan, the same ethnic group, or the same party. The army becomes not only a tool of conquest but also for keeping power, protecting regimes and not states, and generating corruption permeating all levels of command. Thus, more than half a century after independence, and with the exception of a handful of countries with actual military capabilities, almost no African army is able t...

... middle of paper ...

... or indirectly, to these states, regardless of how they are used. International partners should focus more on governance and accountability in the education of African officers, than or at least as much as the military education. More specifically, partnerships in security matters should favor the more democratic countries because they are more likely to contribute to regional stability. Finally, the rule of law: although some coups d’état against a dictatorial regime became popular and accepted by the people and the international community, they remain anti-constitutional. There are no legitimate coups while others are not. Although military intervention in some cases allows building a democratic civil authority in organizing elections after the coup, it is wrong in principle because it is falling back into the unconstitutionality that Africa must free itself from.

More about Implications of the Coup D’état in Africa

Open Document