Blindspot #015 – Coup’s stage an African comeback & swamp creature in the White (out)House

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—>> Coups stage an African comeback & Swamp creatures in the White (out)House <<—

This blindspot speculates that the word coup has been feeling rather neglected and abandoned in political headlines…

Since the African Union tightened up its mechanisms not to recognise what it calls ‘unconstitutional changes of government,’ or coups, this phenomenon dwindled in the past decade or so. However, in the past year to two, the word coup makes a major comeback on the African continent. 

A casual glance back over news headlines indicate that the word coup has, a bit like a semi-retired boxing legend, needing a last round to beef up retirement funds, made a comeback. 

Blindspot #015 covers no less than six coups in little over a year, in four countries, including: Mali (x2), Guinea, Sudan (x2), and Chad. 

Blindspot speculates that this might be no coincidence seeing that world society, economies, and states have all been adversely affected by measures taken to lock the world economy down, and thus upset fragile political-economic, and social systems in developing and African nations. 

As covered in a previous Blindspot, Mali has been particularly unstable, prone to insurgency as well as coups, since the fall of Muamar Gaddafi in Libya. 

No less than two coups happened in Mali (August 2020, and May 2021). In Chad during May 2021 the word coup also surfaced together with putschist militarists.

In Guinea, during September 2021, Special Forces, under leadership of Lieutenant-Colonel Mamady Doumbouya – a former French foreign legionnaire officer – appeared on public television, draped in the national flag, saying government “mismanagement” prompted the coup. 

During October a coup toppled, and scuttled efforts slowly to restore civilian rule in Sudan. Blindspot contends that this is still the long-term after-shocks of the unravelling of the Omar al-Bashir era. Bashir ruled Sudan for thirty years, from 1989. 

The leading general, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, had Abdalla Hamdok – the Prime Minister and other civilian leaders arrested in late October, 2021. It is reported that there has been mounting dissatisfaction over the weakening of the military in the transition process. 

The military has, since Sudan’s independence, played a central role in the vastly complex internal politics of Sudan. The country has experienced two coup occurrences – from inside the armed forces, to force the incumbent president, who had insinuated himself into headship of the state via coup himself – one attempt in September, and a successful coup in October, 2021. 

We look at an Occasional paper on The politics of resources, resistance, and peripheries in Sudan. 

Guinea 

In early September 2021 the AU woke up to yet another set of headlines into which the word coup had insinuated itself. At the time it was reported that the uprising and coup was sparked after the dismissal of a senior commander in the special forces – provoking members to rebel.

The head of Guinea’s special forces, Lieutenant-Colonel Mamady Doumbouya – a former French foreign legionnaire officer – appeared on public television, draped in the national flag, saying government “mismanagement” prompted the coup.

In Guinea, West Africa, the word coup also leapt out of ostensibly nowhere to depose the sitting head of state, to be replaced by a military man. The phenomenon of the coup is not a new occurrence in human political history by a long shot of the imagination. However, the dramatic capture of Guinea’s president earlier this year, by Special Forces, exposes a linguistic blindspot.

Sudan 

In 2019, after thirty years in power, Omar al-Bashir was removed from power. A transitional government has been in place, however, during September 2021 Khartoum was rocked by a failed coup attempt, which was followed in the past few days with yet another, but this time, successful coup. Current developments in Sudan are still, to a large extent related to the fall of Bashir, and the deeper political struggles unfolding. 

The leading general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, had Abdalla Hamdok – the Prime Minister and other civilian leaders arrested. It is reported that there has been mounting dissatisfaction over the weakening of the military in the transition process. Blindspot explores dynamics in Sudan, while exploring the complex trajectory of developments that delivered the country to this situation after more than three decades of military control. This is explored through primary research conducted by Buiteboer (Dr de Kock) in Sudan over the course of several years. 

Mali 

Aljazeera reports on 29 May, 2021, 

For the second time in less than a year, Mali’s military is back in power. Nine months after overthrowing President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in the wake of mass anti-government protests, the army on Monday detained President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane just hours after the announcement of a new cabinet that excluded two key military leaders. 

Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the August 2020 coup and was Ndaw’s deputy in the transitional administration formed in late September with the task of steering the country towards full civilian rule, said he was not consulted on the reshuffle, which was announced amid rising social tensions including a general strike called by Mali’s main trade union.”

Two coups in a year, in a country that has been torn apart since the fall of Gaddafi in Libya (as explored extensively in previous Blindspots) is significant. This in a year wherein geopolitical tensions are rising between France and the Mali military junta, and Russia, concerning the deployment of a private military company from Russia (the Wagner Group) to support counter-insurgency efforts. The French have had several thousand of its forces deployed to Mali, now threatening to withdraw, due to the entry of Wagner Group. 

This blindspot concerns the fact that the word coup has been feeling rather neglected and left untouched in the political lexicon. Hence, it is contended that it used Sudan, and Guinea, as staging grounds from where to launch more strikes to make it to more news headlines around the African continent- and perhaps Middle East. 

We draw the definition of Coup used in this edition of Blindspot from a book Buiteboer had written, coincidentally prominently featuring this word in its title, being: Coup dé’Tat in the Land of Zep Tepi – a progress report. This story played itself out over two volumes. 

Chad 

A quote from Premium Times, on the French government approving of the Chadian coup, makes for interesting and quite insightful reading: 

“French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian Thursday justified the military takeover in Chad, saying it was necessary for security reasons. Chad’s president, Idriss Déby, was Tuesday killed in the battlefront from rebels’ shelling, a day after he won reelection for a six-term tenure. Chad’s constitution says the speaker of the parliament should become interim president upon the death of an incumbent. But despite objections from opposition, the country’s military installed the 37-year-old son of the country’s slain leader, Mahamat, as president. The military also dissolved the government, the constitution and the parliament. After the dissolution, Reuters reported Speaker Haroun Kabadi saying he had agreed, “with full lucidity,” to a military transition “given the military, security and political context. Rebel forces, a Libyan-based group of dissident army officers with the name Front for Change and Concord in Chad, have meanwhile rejected the new government. They have threatened to press their offensive into N’Djamena, Chad’s capital.” 

Swamp creature, or just Biden’s brain living in the White (out)House? 

Not very many so-called Mainstream media (MSM) channels are doing justice to reports from sources inside- and outside the USA, catching the strangest, and sometimes most embarrassing moments wherein the US President, Joe Biden, is clearly mentally not completely all ‘switched on.’ This in a time when the USA is still heavily divided due to the lingering election fraud accusations, still under investigation, and audit in disputed states. 

President Joe Biden has become a national embarrassment, with approval ratings at the lowest level for any US president, at this stage of his incumbency. 

Some clips shared: 

24 October 2021, BonginoReport, shares a clip of President Biden saying ‘We put together the most extensive voter fraud organisation in the history of the USA… 

Furthermore we scan some clips of a clearly incoherent Biden stumbling through press engagements like a lost old man. 

Handy Links 

Yusuf Akinpela. 2021. Deby’s Death: France declares support for Chad coup, gives reason. https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/456869-debys-death-france-declares-support-for-chad-coup-gives-reason.html

Issaka Souaré. 2021. African coups are making a comeback. Institute for Security Studies. https://www.polity.org.za/article/african-coups-are-making-a-comeback-2021-10-15 

Hamza Mohamed. 2021. What next for Mali after second coup within a year? Aljazeera, 29 May, 2021. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/5/29/what-next-after-malis-coup 

Radio Dabanga. 2021. Sudan military seizes power, arrests PM and civilian ministers in dawn coup. 25 October, 2021. https://allafrica.com/stories/202110260017.html 

Peter Beaumont. 2021. Seeds of Sudan coup sown after fall of Omar al-Bashir. The Guardian, 25 October, 2021. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/25/seeds-of-sudan-coup-attempt-sown-after-fall-of-omar-al-bashir 

Petrus de Kock. 2011. The politics of resources, resistance, and peripheries in Sudan. SAIIA Occasional Paper, No 86, June 2011. https://saiia.org.za/research/the-politics-of-resources-resistance-and-peripheries-in-sudan/ 

Petrus de Kock. 2011. Upheaval in the Nile basin: a tour from Lake Albert, through Southern Sudan, to Cairo. SAIIA Western Cape Branch briefing presentation. https://saiia.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/pres_wc_branch_petrus_june_2011.pdf 

BonginoReport. 2020. We Put Together the Most Extensive and Inclusive Voter Fraud Organization in the History of the U.S. 24 October, 2020. https://rumble.com/vatv55-biden-we-put-together-the-most-extensive-and-inclusive-voter-fraud-organiza.html 

Hard Lens Media. 2021. Biden low poll numbers will impact Democrats  in 2022 mid terms. 25 October, 2021. https://odysee.com/@HardLensMedia:9/biden-low-poll-numbers-will-impact:b 

https://thefederalistpapers.org/political-cartoon/sad-state-joe-bidens-mental-health-summed-one-cartoon 

https://twitter.com/TrumpWarRoom/status/1236474565066477568?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1236668406516121600%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es3_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fthefederalistpapers.org%2Fpolitical-cartoon%2Fsad-state-joe-bidens-mental-health-summed-one-cartoon 

https://www.opindia.com/2021/07/joe-biden-dementia-mental-health-jimmy-dore-townhall-potus/ 

100% proof of voter fraud in 2020 USA elections. https://rumble.com/vkq859-unmasked-100-proof-of-voter-fraud-in-usa-2020-election.html