"Any way the wind blows" - Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody
I started a blog a while ago by stating that, “The past few weeks, and arguably the past years, have not been kind to the Sahelian countries.” After Mali, Chad, Guinea, Sudan, Burkina Faso has now had a coup d’état. Guinea Bissau faced an attempted coup yesterday. (I’ll leave out Myanmar for geographic reasons – but the ‘coup’ seems to be back).
Each case has its particularities and specificities. In Chad, the death of the former long-term dictator clear was the very definition of an institutional crisis. In Sudan, after a popular uprising against the former dictator, the country is going through a complex transition. (One has to note the heroic courage of the Sudanese people). In Guinea the former president (elected democratically) had modified the constitution to allow himself a third term as president. In Burkina Faso though a democratically elected president (after a popular uprising against the former dictator) has been removed in a coup. It is clear that both the armed forces and much of the population was frustrated with the president’s difficulties in dealing with the (growing) terrorist menace spilling over from Mali. Of course, the fact that the army that failed in dealing with the terrorists is taking control is somewhat ironic.
To me, a few things stand out;
02.02.2022, Brussels, Belgium.
Online encampment of A. S. Barry. Disparate and not-so-disparate thoughts on international relations, development, writing, and life.