WEST AFRICA IN TURMOIL: WILL COUP LEADERS SEEK FOR ALLIES?

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Amid the exploitation of diamonds and bauxites in the Central African Republic, and with iron-fisted programs in Sudan, Moscow would seek to extend its horizon in the African continent; especially to the countries that need immediate military interventions to sustain their recently successful coups and takeovers. But will Moscow go all out for wholesale interventions? Or strategically, it will seek to rally on exploitative grounds and turn all the upheavals to their benefits? In assessing Moscow, we can derive their prospects from the nature of the vulnerabilities of the countries that are preparing to cut ties with their respective colonial masters and the international communities (basically the Ecowas). Again, the nature of the recent political and economic upheavals will need attention; a lot of systems, like democracies, constitutional governments, and institutions have become too suspicious over the past ten years. The imperatives at which the impending stakes; military intervention, new forms of government and new waves of politics would cruise should determine whether alliances among the involving countries will be imminent or not.

Current political upheavals in African soil have reached their central defining moment. Redlines between the Ecowas and some subordinate countries (Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso) have been drawn. These countries, all being formal French colonies have taken their political destinies into their hands; preparing to face all the impending nuances from the Ecowas and the West. Poverty, hunger, corruption, terrorist attacks, and socio-political turmoil are the core factors. This time around, things are going to be difficult for the neo-colonial masters and their puppets, because Russia seems more determined and focused than they are. Besides, the indigenous are now fed up, sophisticated, and are ready to vomit or pills of miseries.

“We want a partnership with Russia”, said Bertrand Yoda, a civil engineer who shouted to make himself heard amid hundreds of horns sounded.

Why is Ouagadougou yelling to partner Russia? – for military intervention against the Islamist terrorists who have killed more than 2000 people and have left more than 1.3 million displaced leaving them with daily fear and panic. They have waited long in vain for the government.

Read also: Africa’s Offshore Diplomacy: Can it be Played at Home?

West Africa, over the past six decades, is used to hunger and poverty, perhaps government corruption. But the looming dangers posed by guns and bullets from unlikely militants who take pleasure in killing, kidnapping, torturing, and raping seem unprecedented to their endurance. It looks like they are always in retrogression; while others are building their nations with innovative ideas. Appetite for progress is in manifestation now, forcing one to seek peace and prosperity from whatever means. With the revolutionary nature of politics, juntas and militants are capitalizing on this turmoil. As such, toppling governments as if the CIA is in operation. The three coup leaders, Assimi Goita of Mali, Mamadou Doumbouya of Guinea, and Col. Damiba of Burkina Faso have all discredited the Ecowas, shunned their sanctions, and threatened to deal with impending external pressures.

These three leaders, having suffered the same challenges from France, are suspicious of international bodies; therefore may be tempted to form an alliance. With an already cooked set of common values and future consequences, their binding principles might be stronger than what the Ecowas could amass. Both Mali and Burkina Faso have links with Russia, which makes Moscow’s intervention imminent. But the stakes are not straightforward. Ghana is now part of the UN security council and is still having its President as the Chairman of the Ecowas. If by any means, the West deems it necessary to intervene or destabilize the proceedings of the three countries, it will undoubtfully use Ghana as the frontier security agent. Buhari’s presidency is in shambles, with direct threats haunting him from all corners. His vulnerability, perhaps a force validation to his methods of governance can also be used by the Ecowas.

Ivory Coast, though a formal French colony, has common diplomatic terms with Ghana, but as the stakes move from grey to black and white, they might also be tempted to stand on either side of the redline. Gambia doesn’t know what may come to her in the following days, having some unsettled election scorns, they might also need time to be put in or out of the grey yard. Benin, Togo, Mauritania, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, and the others would be looking forward to how their political scruples will surge; the outcomes from any of their politics would definitely play a role in the new political wave. Ecowas and the three (Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea) have had their red lines drawn. What is left is who is with who.

An international validation, at this juncture, shouldn’t be sidelined. Mineral resources in these countries will definitely come to the negotiation tables; especially in an age where nuclear weapons and economic competition have become bloody and intensified. Some sort of international recognition, through alliances also could be in the pipeline. Mali and Burkina Faso are sure of Russia, when that becomes substantive, Guinea might be tempted to corporate and shield itself from Ghana’s Ecowas and the West, causing resonance of new systems and structures of sovereignty.

Now, it must be emphasized that Britain never trained juntas or militants to fight for their course during the anti-colonial surge. They didn’t directly engage rebels and secessionist groups. Unlike France, most of the independence they settled with their colonies based more on political compromises than military and economic compromises. They orchestrated parts of the neo-colonial programs, but through structures from America’s UN and her monitory institutions. Again, formal British colonies, harbors few rebels’ insurgences, juntas, militants, and secessionists. A country like Ghana has none of these. Hence, routing through the backgrounds of the current coups and their leaders, except Guinea’s Doumbouya, each of them (Goita and Damiba) had been either Washington or Moscow trained. France’s failure to tackle all the overwhelming grievances of her former colonies and the militia seeds they planted after independence are the stakes making their colonies vulnerable.

The swiftness and smoothness of the coups aren’t surprising because the Ecowas and the AU started proving weakness when the political insanities began; the Ivorian civil war, the Gambia election scruples, Nigeria’s Endsars, and others. The Ecowas also never bothered to tackle any of the absurdities in the Francophone countries; the rebels and the juntas operated freely without probe or readiness for dissolution. They failed to tackle Boko Haram and the Islamists in Burkina Faso. The very problems from the post-colonial era went untouched and unconcerned both by the Ecowas and the AU. Alliance to tackle these by the individual states has now become a strategy.

Simultaneously, all the events are unfolding. If an internal, perhaps regional alliance between Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso sails through, the shores of Russian corporations would become both means and ends to whatever course they will take. New structures and systems of politics would be set; yielding results, curbing insecurities, providing good water and food with quality education, decreasing unemployment, fostering an economy that attracts investors like Rwanda, there will be a firestorm of political uprising. In the meantime, the sanctions imposed are the first call to form an alliance!

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