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Archive for the tag “President Mengistu Hailemariam”

Ex-President-for-life Jammeh finally into Exile after Peaceful transition yesterday!

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“a :  the state or a period of forced absence from one’s country or home

b :  the state or a period of voluntary absence from one’s country or home”

(Meriam-Webster – Exile)

Yesterday was a special day in Banjul, as the incumbent President of 22 years we’re embattled and was besieged by ECOWAS troops, even Senegalese troops had driven around in the The Gambian Republic. This after ECOWAS had tried to mediate with the President Yayha Jammeh as he lost the election in the end of last year. The Declaration of 2nd December gave the Opposition Coalition winner Adama Barrow, as the President we’re left more and more alone, as his legal advisors and cabinet resigned when the President himself order nation into ‘State of Emergency’ days before he was told to leave.

It must be a day of reflection today how the ECOWAS leadership mediated with Executive; they could be more violent and less straight forward. The reasoning with the other President in Alpha Conde from Guinea to mediate and be there as the leaving the republic where near. The conversation and discussion these big-men had must be legendary as Adama Barrow we’re waiting for the time for him to rein as the troops of ECOWAS was all around the Gambia.

The press and pundits we’re waiting all day, there we’re dozens of people waiting on the Yundum International Airports, as the convoy left the State House and then the Hotel. A Hotel the stayed at for hours. As the Opposition and now ruling regime that we’re in Dakar we’re obligated to say, that Jammeh we’re leaving and the final details we’re ironed out for him to go. Jammeh wouldn’t leave without his stolen wealth and gains for the two decades of rule. Ex-President Jammeh had to leave with the gravy and promises of not getting his crimes tried in court. That just the way the Executives execute their wishes, just the way Executives that lead business into bankruptcies as still getting heavy end-packages from the failing companies.

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All of this was happening as the South African government and Botswana government didn’t recognize Jammeh as the Executive of Gambia anymore. The waiting yesterday was so long, like the man was thinking people wouldn’t execute the idea and get rid of him. Like he could salvage himself and still be the man. He leaves with wealth and security in a foreign nation. Where a fellow dictator can be his friend and can get use of his investment power. Surely Teodoro Obiang of Equatorial Guinea will enjoy having a golfing buddy that has also silently left the opposition in the wind in his days in power. Two friends who knows how to deal with dissident voices, difference is that Obiang still lingers on after a direct coup d’état against his Uncle, Jammeh left after keeping power since 1994.

Barrow will have to work hard to make sure procedure and government institutions are strengthen, as Jammeh has been all about him and his will. Now its different age and the longevity of somebody else should matter on consensus and building institutions of governance, accountability and transparency. None of that is easy, but that is the wishful tale of the Gambian Democracy.

Jammeh into exile isn’t new, that previous Presidents has ended that fate is old. Their hunger for power is eating nations into they are depleted and tired. Therefore the wish for any kind of other leadership ends with them either ending the life of the leader or them sending them far away. Jammeh is lucky who skate off to Equatorial Guinea. That he gets his wealth and his life. That he is not Courtside either in Banjul or at International Criminal Court in Hague in Netherlands. Jammeh could quickly get visitation cards and travel to answer for his crimes against humanity, as only in 2015 he let an opposition leader die inside his prison. That on his orders and his will. We the world will not forget the ones that died so you could stay in power. No matter what sort of island or what sort of lifestyle you have outside of Gambia.

We could look at others who had the same fate and see how easy Jammeh came out of it yesterday, he could have harder outcome and more costly. Some people might say it had been fair as he stole a nation for decades and ruled with an iron fist, with no mercy and therefore, why should the people show him mercy back?

mengistu-zimbabwe

Mengistu in Zimbabwe:

“Shockingly, Mengistu is alleged to have personally murdered opponents by garroting or shooting, saying that he was leading by example” (…) “Still, after his ouster, the government of Zimbabwe readily offered Mengistu sanctuary. Citing the Ethiopian dictator’s long standing friendship with President Robert Mugabe, Harare made it clear it would not extradite the exiled leader” (…) “For several years after first landing in Zimbabwe, Mengistu reportedly lived a lavish but reclusive life, amid fears over his safety. He resided in a posh Gunhill suburb in Harare. Much as Mengistu kept a low profile, many detested the fact that he was reportedly unrepentant about his past” (…) “In fact, in the very few interviews he gave to the Zimbabwean media, Mengistu said he had no regrets about his rule, arguing that he tried his best for Ethiopia. As matters turned out, not everybody agreed or was happy with Mengistu’s past and he constantly had to look over his shoulder” (Mwagiru, 2015).

Ahidjo in Senegal:

“Also to die in exile was former Cameroonian president Ahmadou Ahidjo, who after being deposed by President Paul Biya spent his remaining years moving between France and Senegal. He died of a heart attack in Dakar on November 30, 1989 and was buried there” (Mwagiru, 2015).

Just as you should know Jammeh took with 13 expensive luxurious cars in a Chadian Cargo Plane yesterday, as token for his gracious years in power of the country. He took with him other needed advisors too like: “Lt. Gen. Saul Badjie, head of the Republican National Guard; Lt. Gen. Umpa Mendy, Personal Protection Officer; Amadou Joof, a senior aide to First Lady Zineb Jammeh; Jimbe Jammeh, Senior Protocol Officer, some few soldiers and other officials who may be wanted” (…) “Those traveling with Jammeh are also taking their immediate families with them in exile” (Phatey, 2017). Surely this opens the window of further plans in the future to gain power again, if not make a Gambian village in Equatorial Guinea. This certainly proves that Jammeh elite has run with him and had to be covered in the agreement made between ECOWAS and Jammeh for him to able to step down.

What is positive is that even if Jammeh leaves with a lavish lifestyle he hasn’t been promised or signed an agreement offering immunity. Therefore his past can hunt him in the island paradise with his fellow elite. Jammeh can also by fellow allies of Gambia get him warranted to be tried in Banjul. That is depending on cases or filing of cases towards his time as the President.  That is only time can tell, but now the importance is what Barrow and his regime will do. What Barrow will put in play and how he will be leading the Gambian Republic! That is up to Barrow and what sort of leader he is. Peace.

Reference:

Mwagiru, Ciugu – ‘The often sordid history of toppled and exiled African leaders’ (23.04.2015) link:   http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/magazine/Exiled-African-leaders–A-curse-or-justice-/434746-2694838-256568/index.html

Phatey, Sam – ‘Gen. Badjie, other close aides gone into exile with Jammeh’ (21.01.2017) link: https://gambia.smbcgo.com/2017/01/21/gen-badjie-close-aides-gone-exile-jammeh/

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Press Statement: Kofi Annan to African leaders: “Leave when your time is up” (19.04.2016)

Kofi press release

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, April 19, 2016 Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan has urged African leaders to leave when their mandated time is up and to avoid excluding opposing voices if elections are to cease contributing to conflicts on the continent.

The renowned international diplomat said that while unconstitutional changes to government on the continent had reduced, exclusionary politics threatened to reverse the gains made.

“I think Africa has done well, by and large the coups have more or less ended, generals are remaining in their barracks, but we are creating situations which may bring them back,” the Nobel laureate said in an interview at the 5th Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa (TanaForum.org).

“If a leader doesn’t want to leave office, if a leader stays on for too long, and elections are seen as being gamed to suit a leader and he stays term after term after term, the tendency may be the only way to get him out is through a coup or people taking to the streets”.

“Neither approach can be seen as an alternative to democracy, to elections or to parliamentary rule. Constitutions and the rules of the game have to be respected.”

Annan, the keynote speaker at the forum this year, said winner-take-all approaches to elections on the continent had the effect of leaving out citizens for holding an opposing view, raising tensions around elections.

Annan, who chairs the Africa Progress Panel and the Nelson Mandela-founded The Elders grouping, said he had been the first to tell the African Union not to accept coup leaders among their midst [during an OAU heads of state summit in Lusaka in 2001].

Annan also said that solutions to the problems the continent has must come from within. However, the continent must build up its ability to do so, including in financing its institutions.

“We cannot always pass a hat around and insist we want to be sovereign, we want to be independent. We should lead and get others to support us—that support will be much more forthcoming when they see how serious and committed we are.”

If a leader doesn’t want to leave office, if a leader stays on for too long, and elections are seen as being gamed to suit a leader

The African Union has struggled to get members to pay their dues to allow it run its operations and programmes efficiently, a recurrent theme addressed by leaders at the forum in the Ethiopian city of Bahir Dar.

Annan said such budgetary concerns were constraining the work of the continent in strengthening stability and required creative ways of resourcing.

“I was happy to hear them [African leaders] say ‘we must be prepared to pay for what we want; we must be prepared to put out our own money on the table and fund issues that are of great importance to us.’”

The forum, now in its fifth year, is an inspiration of the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and is organised by the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) of Addis Ababa University.

An invitation-only event, it is chaired by former Nigeria president Olusegun Obasanjo and seeks to provide a platform for current and former leaders to interact with key stakeholders in an informal setting to tackle contemporary issues facing the continent.

It does not make decisions but is becoming an African ‘brand’ of note where local solutions are innovatively explored as the region seeks to carve out its place in a global security architecture dominated by western and emerging powers.

Leaders and experts at the Tana Forum also noted that the continent was not isolated.

“As Africa faces increasing security challenges, so does the rest of the world. The continent is well placed to provide innovative solutions to these security challenges,” Obasanjo said.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Togo’s Faure Gnassingbe, Somalia’s Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud and Sudan’s Omar al Bashir were among the heads of state and government present.

Former leaders Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Festus Mogae of Botswana, Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, Pierre Buyoya of Burundi and Joyce Banda of Malawi were also in attendance.

“I think it is a very good idea that ex-leaders come together with current leaders to share experience and try to talk very frankly about the challenges facing the continent and also about our relations with the international community,” Annan, who was attending the annual forum for the first time, said.

Why are the leaders of our time so hooked-on Power? And some theories for why they don’t leave the Executive Power to somebody else..

Mugabe Military

We are living in a day and age where leader’s doesn’t leave from their office. You have likes of Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasongo who is making himself ready for another election in his country this year and he has been in power since 1979. You have the likes of President Paul Biya of Cameroon who has been the President since 1982 and was in government since 1970s. In Zimbabwe the President of the day President Robert Gabriel Mugabe has been the Commander in Chief.  And the list goes on.

Kagame Nkurunziza 2011

We have the third term phenomenon of President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda both of them have changed the laws or used Courts to allow them to stay in power. So the leadership roles are sufficient to stay. You have the likes of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who has been in charge since 1986 and stayed ever since, changed laws again and again to linger in power and is rumored to fix the age limit to stay passed his 7th Term.

Mittrand Rwanda President

So with this in mind, I will discuss it today. It is not a new phenomenon or a new change of guards. There are always leaders who linger and overstay their time in power. As President Juvénal Habyarimana of Rwanda took power with a coup d’état in 1973 and was in power until his plane got shot down in 1994. Just like the overthrow of first President Patrice Lumumba of Democratic Republic of Congo in 1965, who by foreign powers supposed to install Mobutu Seko Seko Kuku Ngebendu Wa Za Banga who was born Joseph-Desire Mobutu who was the President of DRC from 1965 until 1997. So there are leaders of the past who has not left office and is now long gone.

The issue with this is the way we build society around people instead of institutions and government structures. The Structures of government is kept weak and is not strong with procedure and predicated work for the civil service. That is why the leaders can linger and the way they keep it is fueling resources away from the government structures and institutions, keeping the progress weak and keeping the circle around them tight knit. Instead of having inner-circles with wits, knowledge and people who wants to succeed in their field; the leaders around the president is instead hungry men and woman who works for more and better civil service for the citizens.

US Dollar Campaign

That is because the leaders who circle all of government around themselves are not interested in great policies or deliver the promised pledges to the communities since then they have to give away power. When a leader tries to strengthen the power all around themselves then the necessary leadership is not about the government, but about the person who rules. The ruler set the standard ,not the laws of the state or the laws of the Parliament. As the Executive can fix the Supreme Court, Constitutional Court, can rig the Constitution and make draconian laws that issues more help for the Executive; instead of the Constitution and the Parliament representing the citizens and for the citizens it becomes for the Executive.

That is why the Executive or the Ruler, the President doesn’t want to leave power since the whole state is built around the one person. The One Person who has in his image or her image built the government around themselves. And when they have it all for themselves they don’t have to fight for anything else then themselves. That is what matters, if he schools is depleting, health care is non-functioning, roads have bigger potholes then the ones on the moon, the government loans are worse than the subprime-mortgage and so on. That doesn’t matter because the situations doesn’t hit the Executive, because the government funds goes directly to him instead of the ministries, departments and sections of government than really-really need it!

Zim 2008

The Power that starts with personal movement of fights and liberation, the ones that are personalized towards the one man who saved them all and then doesn’t leave is that the EGO and used to be center of attention. To have the voice of being right, so they can’t do things wrong in their own mind as they risk to lose their wealth and strength if they are out of office.

Barre Somalia

Some of these leaders have lived on the strength of the loyalty to foreign powers as they need their alliance in a region to secure peace in the neighbor country or during the cold war as the Americans did whatever they could to control the world and not lose nations to the Soviet communism. Therefore they fall of Said Barre of Somalia and the struggles of the Ethiopian Dirg of the 1970s. As the Cold War complex policies dissolved and built governments with influence of American and Russian strengths of the time. Take the example of President Mengistu Hailemariam who kept the Power from 1974 – 1991 with the Soviet influx and the Communist agenda that made the result of Somalia invasion with support of the Americans in 1977. So he himself had taken power in 1969 in Somalia the army fueled government of Said Barre as his power-play internally to keep the power together with the back and forth from the leadership at the time led to his fall, as he also had long-term squabble with Ogaden and Ethiopian neighbor after the tried invasion there. This the fall after 20 years might be because he circulated all power amongst himself and not in the powers of structures and department to delegate the powers.

That is the problem with the leaders who get fueled with power. They circulate all power and decisions are under the Executive. So with this in mind instead of building institutions and government structures, they build the armies and police force to enforce the Power of the Executive, not only to enforce national security, but to secure the Power of the Executive. Therefore the first to get payment are the armies and police officers before the teachers and other civil servants.

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The Rulers and the Executives keeps the ignorant yes-men around them to secure that they don’t get to opportunist or wanting to get the Executive position. Therefore they elite around the Ruler get lots of perks, tax-exemptions, cars, housing and servants while the rest of the country can’t afford that. Unless it is foreign investors in businesses owned by the Party Elite or the Government elite that belongs to the inner-circle of the Executive; as the license and openings happens on the watch of the Executive and the Power not the legal justice system or the society binding corporate bondage towards the procedures of setting up business in the country. So the way the Executive get drunk on power is set on the fact that they having everything at nearly no cost.

The Presidents who are drunk on Power have centralized all powers around them and not the government structures and the decrees and the policies are made to keep them in power; not to build a grand state who offers their citizens what they need. Therefore the laws becomes for the MPs and the Elite that fuel the money and Power towards the President, then the President delivering to the People.

The remains of Mobutu's Palce

The remains of Mobutu’s Palce

So with the Inner-circle finding ways to support the President instead of serving the citizens as a government is supposed to do. Why are the Executive and rules high-on-power you asked?

That is because all of the Power, all of the resources and all of the goodwill of the nation is determined by the Executive. As the Power is resumed and determined by the Executive there is hard to leave that, as the knowledge of the system given to coming new leader can take away what the Executive already have built around itself. Therefore the security of having the power instead of giving it the next; that is why the lingering Executives and Presidents are like alcoholics!

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Let me explain why the similarities are there. An Alcoholic has the hunger and need for another drink and beer. They do whatever they can to get another drink and beer, at all means and steal if they have to get that fizz. So the Alcoholic is so used to the alcohol that the feel of it weaken and needs much of it to feel it. The Alcoholic just need another brew and another brew. And never stops taking in the alcohol. In the beginning the alcoholic never think that they would end being so, and the same with power-hungry individual. It just became a habit. The alcoholic needs the alcohol, just as the Executive is drunk on power and needs some more drinks. The Executive gotten so used to and the habit of getting their will and generating the funds out of the governmental funds; so if they don’t get more the donor-funds or the Bretton-Woods Loans to their nations then they feel something is missing. They need the spotlight to be the king of the nation and the supreme ruler.

So the drunkenness and needed attention, the needed judgement and decision rate from the Executive that lingers in powers while they build the government system around themselves and weakens the people around them. So they are more needed and so that ambition gets squirrelled around them. There can only be one vision, one leader and one nation under God. That is the usual factor and the events that unfold as the dissidents and opposition get harsh treatment without any cost spared. Something that happens because they crossed the territory of the Executive and the rules of set-up by the President and the predicated actions are seen as violations of laws and constitution; that apparently been rigged in favor of current leader. Therefore another bottle of beer for the President as the sufficient drunkenness of power is staggering. Suddenly change would be hard and taken with haste. Because the drunken leaders will with force and madness go all-inn if they all of sudden loose it, they will be become bush-warriors or stealing elections to continue their Presidency. As we have seen through 2015 and 2016 that is how far these leaders goes to get the shot of power and not stop drinking from the fountain of government power. Peace.  

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