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  • Yazarın fotoğrafıAlioune Aboutalib Lô

West Africa: mirage democracy versus the glamour of coups d'état

Should we demystify coups d'état in Africa? In Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea and now Niger, the evidence is startling: coups d'état are back, but they're more seductive than ever. Whose fault is this? Why this attraction to the illegal?


The people of West Africa have become more receptive to putsches, even in the quest for democracy. Yes, these educated and now very "informed" young people are still in search of real democratization. The positive reception given to coups d'état in no way calls into question the passion for democracy in West Africa. It is just that "mirage democracy" is no longer acceptable. This "democracy", which eliminates opponents, rules out transparency, does not promote good governance, reinforces social inequalities, maintain oligarchies at the head of countries, elites sucking each other dry on the backs of the people, where Heads of State arrogate to themselves the prerogatives of a monarchy... can no longer pass. Africa's youth is determined to force its full democratization.



Today, the turpitudes once feared in military regimes are fully reflected in democratically elected regimes, which, as soon as they place themselves at the service of the West, are legitimized in their condescension and failures. And since the will of the people is now confiscated via the ballot box in the "maskirovka" of democracy, why not try the other side of the coin? If ECOWAS wants a remedy against coups d'état, its members should first put their own house in order. The fight against putsches must be based on a preventive approach, which should first prevent the confiscation of the will of the people through the instrumentalization of justice and now terrorism (follow my lead...). Westerners, "the great defenders of democratic values", should avoid limiting democracy to the ounce of the organization of an election, whose dice are often loaded in advance. Democracy also means good governance, the suppression of corruption, well-being, the equitable sharing of resources - in short, development.


As long as democratically elected presidents have been elected through a biased electoral process, as long as the people feel that the national interest is not the primary concern of their leaders, as long as their growing passion for sovereignty has not been satisfied, as long as the purpose of democracy is not development in West Africa, putsches will continue to win the affection of the people, from whom they derive legitimacy in the face of biased legality.

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