Mustafa Kaya: "Coup series, Africa and freedom"

Mustafa Kaya: "Coup series, Africa and freedom"
Date: 3.9.2023 15:00

Milli Gazete columnist Mustafa Kaya writes on latest development in Russia. Here is the full article.

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After Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger in Africa, now there has been a coup in Gabon. The statements of the junta that seized power were just like in other African countries where the coup took place. Uniformed soldiers carried banners containing phrases such as "freedom, prosperity, rebellion against exploitation" on the papers they were holding. These were clichéd phrases for Africa, whose destiny consisted of war and exploitation.
The army, which seized power in Gabon, first complained about France, who had been exploiting their country for centuries. (Although Gabon officially became independent in 1960, France continued to exploit the country's natural wealth and maintain its cultural power.)
The army's next target after France was the corrupt and collaborative power. Just like in the Arab Spring, suitcases of money were found in the former leader's palace.
In Gabon, as in Niger, the people welcomed the coup with joy, and spring air is now blowing in the streets.
But "How long will the spring weather blow?" and "Will there be a permanent spring?" It is one of the questions that Gabonese people also think about today.
Because, unfortunately, the spring weather that comes with blows in Africa has always left its place to a harsh winter frost.
Symbols of Africa, who came to power with a coup, Egyptian leader Gamal Abdul Nasser, Burkina Faso leader Thomas Sankara, who is known as "Africa's Che Guevara" for his actions, and Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, displayed the opposite of what they promised in a short time.
Sankara, who is remembered for his best intentions and what he has done for the people, started a never-ending series of coups in Burkina Faso after him. Nasser, the staunch opponent of British oppression and royal tyranny, overshadowed the British in tyranny and the king in tyranny as soon as he came to power. He terrorized the Muslim Brotherhood, which he saw as his rivals, nationalists, socialists, and even the soldiers who staged a coup with him.
He imprisoned tens of thousands of people, hundreds of whom were victims of unsolved murders in his time. He used the Palestinian cause for his personal ambitions. Overconfidence, desire to be more popular and lack of control gave Israel a victory that it could not even dream of, with its defeat in 1967. And he started the period of military junta rulings in Egypt, which is still ongoing, except for the one-year late Mohammed Morsi period.
Another popular name, Qaddafi, did not lag behind the others. Although he took many positive steps in the first years of his rule, after a while he took part in various games in order to stay in power longer. He used the people's money for his power, he became corrupt, he cut off all different voices.
Although he showed himself as an enemy of exploitation, it turned out that after being overthrown, France, the boss of the exploitation wheel in Africa, transferred millions of euros to President Sarkozy.
Unfortunately, many more examples such as Sankara, Nasser and Qaddafi can be cited.
So the problem is in Africa? Is it only in Africa that the junta are becoming more cruel than the ones they overthrow? Of course not, systems are important, not places and dates. Africa has been overthrowing oppressors for decades, and the process is spawning new oppressors. Now Niger and Gabon will face the test where their neighbors got bad grades years ago. Either the junta in both countries will resist to stay in place and turn into a dictator or hand over power to the people.
Here, “What is handing over power to the people?” is the most important question. Handing over power to the people means establishing a solid political system as well as holding free elections.
In other words, if the people of Gabon and Niger and the temporary military administration do not want a new dictator, they should first carry out a "clean hands" operation, those who commit crimes against the people should be exposed and punished. (Here it is very important to keep the balance and not to feel revenge.)
A free press, an independent judiciary system should be established, and political parties that draw strength from the people, not from domestic and foreign capital, should be established. There should be a fair electoral system. All this may take some time, but there is no other way out.
African peoples, whose history has been known for 5 centuries of exploitation, can build a brand new order if they can grit their teeth for a few more years and lay solid foundations. Otherwise, history will repeat itself for Africa.


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