By Ange Ngu Thomas
Francoise Bozize, Central African was early today deposed from power by Seleka Rebels. Bozize seized power in a similar fashion ten years ago from Ange Felix Patasse in the troubled landlocked African country.
Reports say Bozize has fled to Congo Democratic Republic. Presidential Spokesman Gaston Mackouzangba confirmed the rebel take over and in a reconciliatory mnanner, said he hoped the rebels will not carry out reprisal attacks against supporters of President Bozize.
France, the former colonial master of CAR has some 1200 troops there but unlike in Mali, they refused to intervene in the fighting as the rebels easily overan the country. After his 2003 coup, Francoise Bozize refused to buid a strong army afraid he might be kicked out of power himself. “The chickens have come home to roast”, a Bangui resident we contacted said. He admitted scores of people had been killed by the rebels in the fight to take over the capital city Bangui.
The rebels accused Bozize of violating a January peace agreement by failing to intergrate its fighters into the national army and refusing to free political prisoners.
CAR has a population of 4.5 million and though a mineral rich country, is one
CAR Children. Victims of African coups
Another African Coup
Coup d’etats are common and frequent in CAR and many other countries because of weak insitutions of the state. Most African presidents including Eyadema of Togo, Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire (Now DRC) and Lansana Conte took over power in Military coups and ran their countries with military precision creatimng a cult following around the president. To make sure they remain in power, they delibrately weakened state institutions including parliaments and the judiciary. This is the main reason for the frequent coups in Africa. The rest of the world laughs when they read about yet another coup in Africa but no one is surprised. The 1991 attempted coup by hardline communists in the Soviet Union failed because even in weak soviet Union, they still had insitutions that could stand the test of time. Boris Yeltsin used those insitutions to fight back at the Generals and their coup failed.
Stop African Coups
It is time the African Union take up its responsibilities and Ban coup d’etats. This might soon naive and impossible to implement acrioss Africa. The AU can join in the fight to stop coups by kicking out all presidents who took over power through coup d’etats. The United Nations has a similar duty to stop coup d ‘etats. By banning Coup d’etats in the AU and UN, theese military adventurers will be starbved of the very legitimacy they so desperately need and want. There will be fewer coups in Africa as a result.
The starting point will be banning whoever emerges as the next president of the Central African Republic from the AU and UN.