(VOICE OF NAIJA) –In a bid to ensure stability and lasting democratic governance, governments across Africa are exploring innovative ways to prevent coup d’états.
Coup has been an adopted strategy by Military to Secure Democracy in Africa yet none has prove to be a lasting solution.
The latest development comes from Gabon, where the military’s ousting of Ali Bongo Ondimba after the 2023 general election underscores the need for robust measures to safeguard against such incidents.
On 26 July 2023, a coup d’état occurred in the Republic of the Niger, in which the country’s presidential guard removed and detained President Mohamed Bazoum. Presidential guard commander General Abdourahamane Tchiani, afterwards, proclaimed himself the leader of a military junta shortly after confirming the coup to be a success.
Also, On 18 August 2020, elements of the Malian Armed Forces began a mutiny, and subsequently undertook a coup d’état. The soldiers detained several government officials including President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, who resigned and dissolved the government. This was the country’s second coup in less than 10 years, following the 2012 coup d’état.
Preventing coup in Africa, a continent rich in diversity and potential, requires a multi-faceted approach that addresses not only political dynamics but also socio-economic factors. Governments have recognized that a proactive strategy is vital for nurturing stable democracies. Here are some of the strategies they are employing:
Strengthening Democratic Institutions: The cornerstone of any stable democracy lies in its institutions. Governments are prioritizing the establishment of transparent election processes, an independent judiciary, a free press, and an empowered civil society. By maintaining a system of checks and balances, they can prevent the undue concentration of power that often fuels coup attempts.
Promoting Good Governance: Embracing transparent, accountable, and inclusive governance helps to quell the grievances that frequently pave the way for coup attempts. Initiatives to counter corruption, ensure equitable distribution of resources, and foster avenues for political participation are being championed to rebuild citizens’ trust in their government.
Respecting Human Rights: A fundamental aspect of any thriving democracy is the safeguarding of human rights. Governments are doubling down on protecting freedom of speech, assembly, and the rule of law. This, in turn, encourages citizens to engage in peaceful political processes, reducing the likelihood of unrest.
Fueling Economic Development: Recognizing the power of economic stability, governments are addressing disparities and creating pathways for economic growth. By tackling poverty and providing opportunities for advancement, they are tackling the root causes of frustration that often lead to instability and coup attempts.
Military Reform: Governments are shifting the military’s role from political interference to national protection. Professionalizing armed forces, emphasizing civilian control, and minimizing military involvement in civilian affairs are pivotal steps towards preventing coups.
Seeking International Support: The global community is also stepping up to assist African nations in their endeavors. Diplomatic pressure and support for strengthening democratic institutions are coming from international organizations and neighboring countries. Their mediation efforts during conflicts and encouragement of peaceful power transitions are bolstering the continent’s democratic resilience.
In this pivotal moment, African governments are united in their commitment to fostering stable democracies. By implementing these proactive measures, they are not only preventing coup d’états but also paving the way for a brighter, more democratic future for their nations and the entire continent.