In all fairness, coups, or military take-over, is not and will not be the solution to social, economic and political woes in the concerned countries. Coups are a negation and are bound to destroy the very foundations for democracy that African leaders and their people have really struggled to build.
The continent had its first coup experience or ‘baptism of fire’ when soldiers staged a coup in the West African state of Togo that led to the assassination of its first democratically-elected president, Sylvanus Olympio.This opened the much-dreaded Pandora’s Box. In 1965, a senior army officer, Joseph Desire Mobutu, later known as Mobutu Sese Seko staged another coup in what was known then as Congo Leopoldville.
The uprisings in Nigeria that shocked the world, Africa and Nigeria itself followed soon afterwards in 1966 in which a number of top leaders of the federal government and state leaders were assassinated. Coups and counter coups followed before civilian rule and democracy were restored decades later.
In the same vein, more countries, including Ghana, Libya, Mauritania, Liberia, Algeria, Gambia and closer home, Uganda, succumbed to the power of the barrel of the gun, wreaking havoc to democratic rule in the process and slowing down development in those unfortunate countries.Thanks to international hue and cry and intervention, spearheaded by a number of bodies, including the United Nations (UN) and African Union (AU), new and stronger foundations for democracy and civilian rule were gradually built.
In an elaborate and decisive move, these world bodies and many nations all over the world withheld recognition of military rulers, completely isolating them in the long run. It paid dividends. Conspirators soon realised that it was unwise to stage military coups, fearing isolation by the world. Meanwhile, Africa soon witnessed an era of speedy democratization. That is why the coup in Mali must be condemned in the strongest terms possible.