Opinion: Colonel Goïta isn’t your run-of-the-mill leader

I am aware that am a mortal, I am not perfect. History will judge me one day, but until then all I ask for is your support” – Colonel Assimi Goïta (28.01.2022).

Colonel Assimi Goïta is proving to be a tough nut to crack. As he was able to lead to coup d’etat’s and hold on to transitional power. That is the sort of army commander but also leader he is. Right now his in open conflict with the neo-colonial French and other foreigners who interfere in Mali. In such a manner, which few have seen over the years. That being sending Danish troops home or asking for French troops to leave and banishing the French Ambassador to the country. While also summing foreign media houses as well.

At this very point, the leadership of Bamako is changing. The National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) isn’t like any of it’s predecessors and it seems like it’s not window-dressing. No, these actions seems to be legit and with enforcing it too. It seems like the Colonel is listening the public who has demonstrated against the former colonial power and their interference, which has been prolonged and their lack oversight, as they are superior to the nation they are stationed at. Therefore, Goïta the unelected army commander is listening to the pleas of the general, in a manner, which the former elected leadership didn’t. That says a lot and he gains international reputation for doing so at the same time.

As he has recently said this to the world:

I did not choose this path on my own. She imposed herself on me. God alone knows what He’s doing. I will strive to get to the end, but if I die before reaching our goal, do continue the project without me and lay the groundwork for change with my blood and my flesh. No sacrifice is so much for this country. I am not Thomas Sankara, nor Jerry Rawlings. I am Assimi Goïta. Remember me as a reformer not a revolutionary. Remember me as the bearer of hope to the people, the one who came when your blood was shed for your desire for change. I will go to the end of my mission. I will never betray your trust” (Goïta, 28.01.2022).

These words shows his fierce resilience and will ahead. This is project and he does it with a goal. Clearly, the transition isn’t only for mere puppeteers of others, but for something bigger. That’s why his challenging the French and others who are interfering. That’s why he speaks of sacrifice, because this fight and choices will cost. Not only on the battlefield itself, but on the negotiating table. As he has to forfeit possible donations or funds, as the French might not support projects and such. That is the price his willing to take.. Clearly he has envisioned this and that it will cost.

Death doesn’t scare me, I saw it every day on the battlefield, it’s failure that scares me. If death marries me on the way to our target, do not mourn me. Don’t make my grave a sanctuary. I did what I thought was right for my country. I did it for me but I did it for you too. I am Assimi, the man who smiles every day with death” (Goïta, 28.01.2022).

He ends with the final end of life, which we all will greet at one point or another. Where he hopes he did the right thing and fought the good battle. That says a lot about him. People have certainly underestimated him. That was shown as he was able to take total control and also regain more power. As he saw the ones taking power after the first coup not fulfilling their mission.

Goïta has a plan. It seem that his challenging the French and neo-colonial powers interfering. That is obvious. However, will continue further like ceasing the CFA in Mali or is it only about the military power he cares about? Because, if he clearly intends to leave France and the French interests alone. He should go for the pocket too… This is clearly a beginning and it will cause a stir. The West might feel butt-hurt, but they should be diplomatic about it. As they have overstayed and done so, often without a mandate or an invitation. Therefore, the CNSP is only doing what any sovereign nation would do. The ones Paris might feel humiliated, but they have shot people and never even said “sorry” and moved their troops like nothing. That’s why we know how they value or concerned about their implications in their former colonies.

So, the CNSP and Goïta is doing the right thing. It will cost and will be a sacrifice. Especially, if the Bamako leadership dares to go after the bank and the financial polices of Paris. If they do that after all the hurdles of military operations in Sahel. Than Goïta have been a titan and is steering the republic in a new direction. Peace.

Opinion: It seems like Abiy don’t need Hailemariam Desalegn anymore…

There is now reports that the former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has an arrest warrant on him. There is a pending corruption case, which questions missing funds $50 million, which was misused and not spent as promised on agricultural equipment from Poland. Therefore, an old case is suddenly appearing and haunting the former Prime Minister.

When these sorts of things happens years after. As we have seen the succession of Abiy and the years in power. This seems like a sting and operation to take down a former ally who paved the way for Abiy to get into office. That is how it seems to me.

The money is most likely eaten and the ones in office is doing the same. If not they are misusing funds to combat it’s own people and asking for donors for military equipment to kill their own. Surely, the former PM have to answer for his own grievances.

However, this is a political game, as Abiy is safe and has the throne. He feels superior and untouchable, as the warfare haven’t hit home and neither has the crippling economy. So, as long as the gig is working. He can focus on consolidating all power and this way go after someone who can put him in a bad light.

Which just happens to be the former Prime Minister. A man who did the noble thing and resigned after failing. A PM stepping down after misusing his office and suspending the rights of his people. Using the Command Post and the State of Emergency to further the plight of the demonstrating youths. Alas, the former PM did the graceful thing and bowed out.

Nevertheless, Abiy rather silence and get rid of his critics. That’s why this fits a pattern and now he seeks a former ally and a predecessor. In such a way to silence and stop him too. To use the past and the courts to go after him. It is just so fitting and a political move, as the same courts has been used against high profiled opposition. Therefore, we know the drill and the motivation for it now.

Just like Abiy have gone after and gotten rid of the ones that made him like Lemma Megersa. It seems like he has put the target on Hailemariam now. The one who was before him and to signal that anyone can be touched. That is how it seems… and it wouldn’t be shocking. As there are plenty of political prisoners lingering in jail and the former PM would maybe even join fellow jailbirds who he put behind bars during his reign.

Therefore, this is just a sign of cleaning the house and furthering his consolidating of power, which is a enterprise, which doesn’t seem to slow down. However, it just takes new forms and the PM isn’t done with doing so. Peace.

RDC: Declaration Politique des Deputes Progressistes Membres d’Ensemble pour le Changement (31.01.2022)

Mali: Communique No. 16 du Gouvernement de la Transition (31.01.2022)

Burkina Faso: Presidence du Faso – Grande Chancellerie – Ciculaire No. 004 (30.01.2022)

Ethiopia: Oromia Liberation Front/Army (OLF-OLA) – The Net Results of Abiy’s ‘National Dialogue’ Prolongs the Ethiopian Civil War than End It! (29.01.2022)

Burkina Faso: Mouvement Patrotique pour la Sauvegarde et la Restauration (MPSR) – Acte fondamental du MPSR du 29 Janvier 2022 (29.01.2022)

Kenya: United Democratic Alliance – Statement by the UDA Chairman on the Press Conference held Today 31st January 2022 (31.01.2022)

Opinion: Have the NRM amended article 29 of the 1995 Constitution? [Since Besigye is warned about demonstrating again!]

1995 Constitution states in Article 29 (1):

(1) Every person shall have the right to—

d) freedom to assemble and to demonstrate together with others peacefully and unarmed and to petition; and

(e) freedom of association which shall include the freedom to form and join associations or unions, including trade unions and political and other civic organisations” (Constitution, 1995).

You could think we are retuning back in time, but however… we are in 2022 and not in 2015 or 2016. Neither are we in the 2010 or 2011. The Public Order Management Act (POMA) is still enforced in combination with the Standard Operational Procedures (SOPs) in consideration with the global coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and Uganda Police Force (UPF) is directly warning Besigye in end of January 2022… is like a deja vu.

As reported earlier today:

Addressing journalists on Monday, Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga said security has got intelligence information indicating that in order to pull off the planned protests, Dr.Besigye is planning to reawaken the Power 10, a structure formed towards the 2016 polls as FDC’s election mobilisation task force. “We have intelligence information that Dr. Besigye and other opposition activists intend to reactivate Power 10 to cause acts of disobedience and mayhem in the city. They have so far recruited five persons per village and cell but we know Dr. Besigye as a professional agitator for violence and warn him that the Public Order Management Act is still in place and they have to ask for permission from police before carrying out their activities,” Enanga said” (Kenneth Kazibwe – ‘Dont be tempted to organise protests- Police warn Besigye’ 31.01.2022, Nile Post).

We know that this time around that Dr. Kizza Besigye has his own pressure group and coalition, which is the People’s Front for Transition (PFT) and the Red Card Movement. It is clear that the state still fears for his reach and popularity. As they are warning him to not demonstrate or riot. Which is blocking the rights of any citizen and it’s stipulated in the 1995 Constitution in Article 29.

It is not new that the Anti-Besigye Act or the POMA act has been made to stifle and stop demonstrations, after the near successful Walk to Work demonstrations in 2011. The POMA is made in such a fashion, that anyone has to apply and fill certain criteria to be able to demonstrate or protest. Therefore, we know if Besigye or any allies applies to do so. It will be denied or not get allowed to do so, in regard to public safety. While the state can gather and show-up everywhere with the convoys, meetings and conferences for that matter.

The PFT and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) will not be able to show a public disdain. That is deliberate by the state and we know it. This have been done for years and is nothing new. However, the state and the NRM would be more sincere, if they just amended the Article 29 and took away the right to demonstrate. As it is near to impossible… and the ones who wishes to do so cannot really do it.

Besigye is only one who would get this warning. This could be equally be given to Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine and his National Unity Platform (NUP) or the People Power Movement. As they would get under the same scrutiny or pressure from the state to cease these sorts of activities. Since, the state wouldn’t allow that to happen. Just like they haven’t allowed concerts or plenty of gatherings by the NUP in the recent years.

Therefore, Besigye is just having … the same problems as before… the FDC and PFT should anticipate this and it’s nothing new. The UPF and the NRM is just continuing their oppression and lack of tolerance towards dissidents. Peace.

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