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Africa: Military Coups Against and For Dictators Trending Up; Imminent Military coup in Rwanda is a possibility, Rwandan President Paul Kagame tells media.

Rwandan Dictator Paul Kagame vs Rwandan Activist Yvonne Idamange Iryamugwiza, Feb 2021

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After almost 3 decades of respite, apart a few here and there, waves of military coups and coup attempts have returned in Africa, again. The stakes are high and some leaders, especially those labelled dictators, are already preparing for potential coups against their reign, readying and organizing their close associates and family members for the worst scenarios. One of these leaders is the Rwandan dictator General Paul Kagame,  who has been keeping a pretty low profile but  did not hide his worries during recent interviews with the media. AfroAmerica Network has obtained information regarding the scenarios being  secretely investigated or explored by closest advisers and family members  working with the most trusted agents within Rwandan Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI).

Endless  and Rising Coups and Coup Attempts in Africa.

In just two years, Africa has known at least 45 military coups or coup attempts.

Since 1955, Africa has known 207 coups or coup attempts, mostly by the military. Some countries had their shares. These include Sudan (15 successful or attempted coups), Burundi (11), Sierra Leone (10), Ghana (10), Guinea-Bissau (10), Comoros (9), Burkina Faso (9), Mali (8), Benin (8),, , Nigeria (8), Togo (7), Mauritania (7), Niger (7), Chad (7), Congo (7), Central African Republic (5), Uganda (5), Ethiopia (5), Madagascar (4), Algeria (4), Democratic Republic of the Congo (4).

Throughout their history, these countries have one thing in common: dictators succeeding other dictators, with most of these dictators put in power or supported by foreign powers and corrupt military leaders and ruling through nepotism and kleptocracy. The dictators in some of these countries resort to mass murders, assassinations, and other vicious crimes to maintain power, and can get away with the support from their foreign sponsors, corrupt institutions, or world indifference. Once the foreign powers have no longer interest in the ruling dictators and their kleptocratic systems run out of options to loot the country, the power weakens and new dictators take over through coups or system manipulations.

The countries with the lowest number of coups or coup attempts include: Zambia (3), Sao Tome and Principe (2), Morocco (2), Rwanda (2), Gabon(2), Kenya (1), Senegal (1), Cameroon (1), Tunisia (1), Mozambique (1), Swaziland (1), Seychelles (1), and Zimbabwe (1).


The pictures of the countries with the lowest number of coups or coup attempts are complex. Some are tightly ruled by the most brutal or well crafted dictators, ready to do anything to survive, including elaborate corrupt institutions, ethnic divisions, mass murders, assassinations, and other vicious crimes, such as tortures and execution of anyone suspected of belonging to several defined or implied categories of supposed enemies. These include Cameroon, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe.

Others are somewhat democracies which at some point face challenges, with incompetent or greedy leaders. One may think of Senegal, Kenya, Gabon, Morocco, Tunisia, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Seychelles. Another group is rather run through organized nepotism or function like a monarchy.

Latest  Coups, a Replica of the Past.

The latest successful coups include the following (see Africa: African Dictators of 2021; 3 Down, More to Go ):

Guinea Conakry: On Sunday, September 5, 2021 military rebels led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, a former French legionnaire officer, staged a mutiny in Guinea and arrested the dictator Alpha Conde. After learning of the coup, a mass of supporters of the rebels took to the streets to celebrate the victory. Alpha Condé, 83-years old, became Guinea’s first democratically elected president in 2010 and was re-elected in 2015. In 2021, he pushed through a constitutional change to allow himself to run for a third term, a move his opponents said was illegal.

Mali: On May 24, 2021 coup, Colonel Assimi Goïta became the new leader after forcing the dictator President Bah N'daw, to resign. On 20 July 2021, Colonel Assimi Goïta survived an assassination attempt.

Chad: In April 2021, Chad’s long time ruling dictator Idriss Déby, addressed as Marshal Idriss Déby Itno, was killed following intense fighting against rebels. He was replaced by 37-year-old son, General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno

Sudan: on October 24, 2021, after two years of hope following the overthrow of the last Sudanese bloody dictator Omar-al-Bashir, Sudan's military junta seized power . The military junta dissolved a transitional government that had been set up to manage the transition towards democracy. General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, head of the Sovereign Council set up under the transition to share power among the military and civilians, led the coup. The coup has pushed activists, especially young people, women and other members of the "resistance committees" into the streets and onto the front line of the struggle against military rule.

Guinea- Bissau: On February 1, 2022, Umaro Sissoco Embaló, a former army chief and the president of Guinea-Bissau said he survived a bloody coup attempt linked to drugs traffickers and that the attackers tried to kill him and his entire cabinet at the government palace. Umaro Sissoco EMbaló was elected in controversial elections in December 2019, assumed power starting February 2020 but was immediately opposed to a hostile parliament.

Burkina Faso: On January 23, 2022, the military led by Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba, ousted President Roch Kabore accusing him of incompetency and mismanagement of military operations to fight the Islamist militants. Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba vaguely promised a return to democracy whenever possible, "when the conditions are right".


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"Potentially Military Coup in Rwanda": Rwandan Dictator Paul Kagame, tells, media.

In an recent interview with French-African media, on January 28, 2022, Rwandan President and known dictator Paul Kagame, was asked several questions regarding his government and decades of unchallenged despotism.
Among the questions, two stood out: whether he was a dictator as widely known around the World and whether a military coup is possibility in Rwanda.

For the first time, General Paul Kagame, usually known for his sudden outbursts and open threats against those trying to challenge him, especially the media and activists, seemed calm and humble.


On the question about being a dictator,  General Paul Kagame responded:


"Like everyone else, there is a part of me that I can't change, and there is another part of me that I can working on and make a meaningful and positive change. It would be impossible for me to change who I am. That is, maybe, why some people see me as a dictator. However, I am always ready to work with others.

When I was a young man, I was very impatient. Over the years, I have learned that it takes time and efforts to reach one's goals. Hence, I gained an understandin on three tings: being humble, doing the right thing at the right time and being very careful as needed."

Regarding a potential military coup attempt against his rule, General Paul Kagame said:

"I don’t know, for sure,  but  it is a possibility. However, let me explain my view in a different way. First and foremost, Rwandans are the ones who say what they think, what they come from, what we have done and what we are doing. Second, I have been trying to examine and figure out about things that could make either the military or other groups so enraged to the point of attempting a coup against me."

The statements, although carefully balanced, have highlighted the rising discontent and dissensions within General Paul Kagame's close aides and government and Rwandan military leaders.

In fact the growing dissensions started years ago but have been covered up, until recently (see Update on Rwanda: As Rwandan Dictator Paul Kagame's Health Declines, More Top Military Leaders Suspected of Planning a Coup Jailed or Under Close Watch).

Now, AfroAmerica Network has obtained sensitive information from sources close to the Rwandan Department of Military Intelligence (DMI), pointing to four scenarios being investigated and assessed by General Paul Kagame's most trusted advisers and family members. The four scenarios are as following:

  • Scenario 1: The ailing Paul Kagame peacefully leaves power, his daughter Ange Kagame takes over with the help of a key Military leader (name withheld for now) and her mother and in collaboration with a young ally who is a prominent military leader from a neighboring country.

 

  •  Scenario 2 : The ailing Paul Kagame peacefully steps down and hands power to the Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente, as a transitional president. Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente, known as "No Way Out" in General Paul Kagame's circles or "Afande's Glorified Administrative Assistant" in the Rwandan government circles, will then conduct elections in which Ange Kagame will be running and win elections, as a democratically elected president and first women to lead the country of Rwanda. Prime Minister Ngirente would rely on Maj. Gen Albert Murasira, current Defence Minister, to control the military, with the help from the key military leader, whose name was withheld, for now.

 

  • Scenario 3: Attempted coup by former General Paul Kagame's close aides, including top military leaders. Some mostly mentioned are Gen James Kabarebe, former Defence Minister, current Senior Presidential Adviser on security matters and Head of Democratic Republic of Congo Desk, Gen Fred Ibingira, Rwanda Defence Force Chief of Staff of the Reserve Force and Retired Lt Gen Charles Muhire, Gen Patrick Nyamvumba, Gen Charles Kayonga, Lieutenant General Karake Karenzi, and General Dan Munyuza, Inspector General of Police (IGP) and Head of Uganda Desk. (Update on Rwanda: As Rwandan Dictator Paul Kagame's Health Declines, More Top Military Leaders Suspected of Planning a Coup Jailed or Under Close Watch).
    The scenario also includes two possibilities, with the risk of two groups emerging and fighting against each other:
    • Group 1: Gen Dan Munyuza's faction.
    • Group 2: Gen James Kabarebe's faction. Gen James Kabarebe has already been contacting some leaders of opposition groups or other organizations based outside the country. The names of the key opposition  or activist groups leaders in contact with  Gen James Kabarebe are withheld, for now. 
  •  Scenario 4: An open rebellion or multiple rebelliions composed  of opposition groups, including some labelled as Hutus, other as Tutsis, and others as coalitions among different interethnic factions, and some with support from neighboring countries.

More information on these scenarios is being gathered and investigated. Afromerica Network is closely following the story and will update as needed.  

 @2022 AfroAmerica Network