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Africa: How the African Union Got It Wrong On Zimbabwe

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FOR the first time in more than two years – the longest stretch since the late 1950s – a coup d’etat rocked a country in Africa. Late on the evening of November 14, the Zimbabwe military seized control of the capital, Harare, and placed President Robert Mugabe under house arrest.
The coup was vehemently denied as such by its perpetrators, but the military’s doublespeak could not alter the reality: after 37 ruinous years in power, Zimbabwe’s liberator-turned-dictator faced an ignominious exit at the hands of his comrades. 

Surprisingly, the coup also confounded the African Union and threatened to damage one of its major policy successes since its founding in 2002 – zero tolerance for unconstitutional changes of government out of the barrel of a gun. Why, in contravention of its anti-coup dictum, did the AU accept the coup in Zimbabwe? What implications will this have for ending politics by force in Africa?
For decades, coups – in which a faction within government uses its partial control of the state apparatus to (forcibly) remove the ruler from power – wrought havoc in countries across Africa, undermining democracy, fomenting instability and civil war, and impeding economic growth. Between 1950 and 2010, 169 coup attempts took place in Africa, of which 51.5 percent were successful.
For most of this period, the continent’s coup epidemic was exacerbated by The Organization of African Unity’s (OAU) capital city rule, whereby whoever controlled the capital, no matter how he/she came to power, was recognised as the sovereign representative by other states.

Source:Pocket News

Africa: How the African Union Got It Wrong On Zimbabwe Reviewed by Blessing Admin on 05:48 Rating: 5

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