El regreso del golpe de Estado africano

NUEVA YORK – La opinión generalizada de que el África subsahariana ha superado los golpes de Estado puede ser una ilusión. En los dos últimos años, ha habido en África golpes de Estado que han triunfado en Níger, Guinea, Madagascar y Mauritania. Además, ha habido algunas intervenciones indirectas, golpes fracasados y amenazas susurradas por doquier.

Pese al desarrollo de instituciones democráticas en algunas partes de África, los golpes de Estado parecen ser de nuevo una opción cuando la democracia parece estar fallando, el estancamiento político se ha afianzado o la autoridad constitucional se ha alienado a las poblaciones empobrecidas. Los golpes de Estado triunfales legitimados por el apoyo (o al menos la aquiescencia) popular y lubricados con promesas de “restablecer la democracia” pueden llegar a ser infecciosos y animar a los imitadores de Estados vecinos en los que también los gobiernos sean débiles o hayan fracasado.

Al final de febrero en Niamey, capital de Níger, tropas armadas rodearon el palacio presidencial y detuvieron al Presidente Mamadou Tandja en plena reunión del Consejo de Ministros. Mientras que la Unión Africana, los Estados Unidos y otros miembros de la comunidad internacional protestaron, la reacción popular en Niamey fue jubilosa.

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