Another Coup E’tat Attempt In West Africa
West African countries are in a state of turmoil with their armies attempting coup d’etats to overthrow the existing governments. Some have been successful, but not all. It was just last month on January 24 when Burkina Faso, a West African country experienced a successful coup when the army took control of the government, deposing President Roch Kabore, dissolving both the government and parliament, suspending the constitution, and shuttering its borders. The whereabouts of President Kabore are unknown. The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is concerned about his safety and well-being. One of the coup leaders told CNN that the country is better off under military rule right now. Apparently, Burkina Faso’s civilian population was encouraged by the coup because civilians gathered on the streets honking horns and cheering in support of the military. The country has been plagued by terrorism.
ECOWAS, the Economic Community for the West African States, said it was watching carefully the situation in Burkina Faso after the coup d’etat. They also demanded that the soldiers return to their barracks and favor dialogue with the authorities to resolve problems. The coup did not come out anywhere. The country has been wracked with violence perpetrated by Islamic State and al-Quada. The West African coups have seemed to develop in a domino effect with one country encouraged by coups in other nearby nations. About 18 months earlier West African neighbors Guinea and Mali both experienced coup d’etats when their armies removed their presidents.
Guinea-Bissau is a tropical country on West Africa’s Atlantic coast that’s known for its national parks and wildlife. The army attempted a coup against the government last week but was unsuccessful. President Umaro Sissoco Embalo said the coup had failed and called for calm in a radio broadcast, saying “I have never imagined that we would arrive at this type of situation. I never thought that Bissau-Guineans could practice another act of violence.” Defense forces engaged in crossfire with the alleged perpetrators. President Embalo added, “Many members of security forces were killed in the conflict.” He said that he and his cabinet were gathered for a weekly meeting in the palace. He believed that drug traffickers and corrupt agents were involved in the “very well planned” coup attempt. Guinea-Bissau has experienced several military coups since the country gained independence from Portugal in 1974. The country is one of the poorest in the world, despite its famous parks and wildlife that attract international attention.
What can be done to resolve these continuing conflicts that leave these nations and their people in upheaval, leading to both economic insecurity and fractured infrastructures? For Christians, the answer is prayer. Some resolve to prayer as a “last attempt” in a desperate situation, when in reality it should be our FIRST attempt!