September 26, 2015
- Events in Burkina Faso. Why the rat is sad that the
pro-Blaise Compaore coup failed. People power wins the
day as the Presidential Guards are sent packing, RPG's
The elite Presidential Guard of Burkina
Faso is no more having burnt its fingers in an attempted
coup that eventually should have seen the ousted and
disgraced former President Blaise Compaore re-installed
in office had it got its way in a country where the main
army is as professional as it should be.
And there are interesting comparisons
that Sierra Leone watchers would be keen to point out.
The Presidential Guard coup was not
popular and had no support among the people. In
desperation members of the group got a group of people
together to stage what they termed a demonstration of
support after the regional body ECOWAS and other
international bodies including the UN made it clear it
was not in favour of a band of soldiers seizing power
during a transitional period leading to elections.
It was a coup that was widely
condemned by countries and organisations that stood for
democracy and the power of the will of the people. The
United States and France were the first Western
countries to condemn the coup asking for an immediate
return to a process that was in place that should have
seen elections held in which an elected President of
Burkina Faso would have been seen occupying the top
political seat in the country.
In Sierra Leone, on
May 25, 1997 a band
of soldiers wearing green camouflage tunics on the
outside and sporting red vests underneath launched an
unexpected move against the democratically-elected
President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah
barely a year after elections in 1996 that saw the
military, the NPRC of Valentine Strasser and Julius
Maada Bio leaving power after a four-year stint.
Kindly recall that it was the people
who decided that they had had enough of military rule
and now wanted to see a civilian as head of government
in Sierra Leone. The first Bintumani conference,
attended by delegates from all over the country and in
which various sections of Sierra Leone society
participated decided at that conference in Freetown that
the military must give way to the will of the people in
a civilian administration.
Also recall that even when a second
Bintumani conference was called after the palace coup
that ousted Strasser, the people still called for the
military to go never mind the military
sponsored-movement which emerged that called for the war
to end before elections would be held - the Peace Before
Election group. It should be recalled that both
Bintumani conferences were convened by the NPRC and in
the end had no option but to yield to the wishes of the
people. And so after barely a year in office, many
Sierra Leoneans were shocked to hear of another military
coup on May 25, 1997.
It was the
most unpopular coup in Sierra
Leone's political history with a large
majority of civilians refusing to recognise the Johnny
Paul-led AFRC. Citizens were aghast at the idea of
having another band of uniformed rulers a year after
they had started enjoying the results of their demand
that the military relinquish power to a civilian
administration. Support within the wider community of
the army was non-existent as many soldiers who had
served during the NPRC appeared to have had enough and
wanted to be left alone in peace to pursue the war
against the rebels of Foday Sankoh.
Realising that those soldiers in
support of the coup were not up to mark, the AFRC then
called in the rebels of Foday Sankoh to join them in
what they say was a government that would bring peace to
Sierra Leone as there would be no more war with the
rebels sharing power with them.
That was the sugar-coated pill fed to
Sierra Leoneans and the international community. However
it was clear to watchers of the political canvas of
Sierra Leone that this was far from the truth. The AFRC
was extremely worried, scared stiff that their numbers
were thin on the ground and that in another mass
movement by the people, they stood no chance. The
co-opting of the murderous and rapist band of RUF
members was meant to swell their numbers and intimidate
Sierra Leoneans into accepting the AFRC or face dire
The international community again
stepped in to find a way out for the AFRC/RUF band of
murderers, rapists, human rights abusers and plunderers.
They arranged a number of meetings headed by the
regional body ECOWAS to find an easy way out for the
AFRC/RUF coalition of evil so that their key operatives
would be given a face-saving exit.
After one such meeting Dr James Jonah,
then Foreign minister in the Tejan Kabbah administration
announced that a deal had been reached with the junta
and that they have agreed to hand power back to the
civilian government of President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and
all that remained were the modalities for a face-saving
transfer of power.
It was while a meeting on the crisis
was going on that out of the blue
Johnny Paul Koroma made a speech
in which he dashed all such hopes telling the nation and
the world that the AFRC was there to stay and that it
would be in power for at least another four years after
which it would conduct various elections that would see
the emergence of a new civilian administration. This
should have been an APC government installed by the AFRC/RUF.
International broadcaster and one-time
famous citizen, one Hilton Fyle of BBC Network Africa
fame having cut his teeth with the NPRC in film
production was believed to have been a part of the
support group of the beasts in power, the AFRC/RUF
coalition of evil. Residents in Freetown at the time can
still recall his usual threat of cutting off the phone
if in his phone-in programmes, anyone dared to criticise
He too in a book he later authored had
this bit - "There was no denying however, that at the
outset at least, the AFRC was planning to make a long
stay. Apart from ignoring my advice in the beginning, it
was clear there was a body of stubborn elements in the
administration-or advisers-who insisting that the AFRC
should not hand over power quickly. They were obviously
the force behind the mighty blunder which wrecked the
first peace talks chaired by the Nigerian Foreign
Minister Chief Tom Ikimi...Someone wrote a defiant and
cavalier speech, which he delivered in a broadcast to
The speech was timed to coincide with
the start of this peace meeting, but instead of being
friendly and conciliatory, he spelled out plans by the
AFRC to stay in power for four years, including some of
it programs it would pursue during this period.
The speech was interpreted as an
insult to the International Community, and the meeting
was called off.
It was then that ECOWAS and the rest
of the world began to pile up the pressure. The AFRC
realising its mistake began to temper its approach and
impress the world that it was serious about negotiating
a handover of power, but it was too late."
Kindly note Hilton Fyle's observation
- "Apart from ignoring my advice in the beginning, it
was clear there was a body of stubborn elements in the
administration-or advisers-who insisting that the AFRC
should not hand over power quickly." He may have been an
adviser, but as he points out "...there was a body of
stubborn elements in the administration-or advisers...".
What everyone on the ground knew at
the time was that this group of hard core advisers were
APC operatives who see the overthrow of the SLPP as a
means to power when the AFRC/RUF eventually leaves - if
they ever were to do so. It would be recalled that many
of the APC operatives now enjoying the fruits of
democracy under the AFRC/RUF-supporting rat at State
House were key players under the Johnny Paul band of
butchers. These include, at least in the open, one
Victor Bockarie Foh,
Kainday Bangura and the AFRC Governor of the Central
Bank one Christian Kargbo.
Junta spokesman Allieu Kamara did his
best to put together what was now a Humpty Dumpty
situation - the broken promise that could never be put
together again. The Sierra Leone web had this -
"AFRC spokesman Allieu Kamara said
Thursday that AFRC leader Major Johnny Paul Koroma's
speech had been misinterpreted and that "he did not say"
the AFRC will hold on to power until 2001.
"It was just an intention he intends
to pursue, he was not announcing a program," Kamara
said. "He was talking to the people of Sierra Leone to
explain to them the problems of our country and at the
same time to enlighten them a little bit. If he is given
the opportunity, these were the areas he was going to
concentrate on." Kamara said the AFRC had been
continuing to "work for the people" of Sierra Leone
while AFRC envoys were negotiating in Abidjan."
And the Sierra Leone web continued
with the story thus -
"AFRC leader Major Johnny Paul Koroma
acknowledged that his speech of July 30 which brought
about the collapse of the peace talks had been a mistake
in judgment and "has not gone down well to a number of
our enlightened citizens."
In a fax to AFRC Foreign Minister Dr.
Alimamy Pallo Bangura, the AFRC's Secretary of State for
Foreign Affairs who headed the delegation to Abidjan,
Koroma said the speech was delivered "in direct response
to what appeared to me at the time to be the continued
intransigence of the ECOWAS Foreign Ministers based on
Koroma conceded that the speech had
undercut the work of the AFRC envoys.
"I am willing further to admit this
much - that I erred in making such a broadcast at the
time the negotiations were in progress in Abidjan and
the impression might have been created that our
delegation was not acting in good faith throughout," he
"I ask of you to read this my
statement to the ECOWAS Foreign Ministers in Abidjan and
trust that what I have now said will in good measure
provide a level of comfort that will enable them to see
their way clear towards the ultimate resumption of the
talks in Abidjan in an atmosphere of the utmost good
faith on all sides."
In Burkina Faso, the Presidential
Guard quickly realised it had made a terrible mistake of
going against the wishes of the people.
Despite the apology of coup leader as
carried on this
BBC story, it did
not mean a thing to the people because they knew if they
had not resisted, it would now have been a different
story. "Coup leader Gen Gilbert Diendere admitted the
putsch had been "the biggest mistake". "We knew the
people were not in favour of it," he said."
Yesterday Friday 25th September, the
re-installed government held its first Cabinet meeting
at which certain key decisions were taken - among them
the disbanding of the Presidential
The New York Times
has this on the first Cabinet meeting after the interim
government was re-instated -
"Burkina Faso's transitional president
on Friday signed a decree to disband the presidential
guard that staged a coup more than a week ago. Interim
President Michel Kafando also fired the commander of the
presidential guard, Col. Boureima Kere, and the
country's security minister, Col. Sidi Pare, according
to the decree that was read on national television.
Burkina Faso's armed forces said in a
communique that they have started disarming the
presidential guard and there is an inventory of their
weapons. The decision was made after Kafando met with
interim Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida and other
ministers for the first cabinet meeting since the
transitional government was reinstalled Wednesday.
Zida, who formerly served as the
second in command for the presidential guard, said
earlier he favored the action to disarm and disband the
group. The prime minister said Diendere's future was
still being considered and an investigation is being
launched into the coup.
"Justice will be served after the
conclusion of these investigations," Zida said.
The lessons here?
Had the AFRC handed over power
peacefully, the country would have been spared further
bloodshed and misery but because die-hard core APC
operatives were the chief advisers it went on a campaign
of murder, arson and rape prolonging the agony of the
people for nine months.
Some of the APC diehards who advised
the AFRC are still in place and now that the APC is in
power are using their leverage to reward the AFRC/RUF
for that poor advice that cost the AFRC and the people
of Sierra Leone so much agony.
Still wondering why
Omrie Golley was
freed from prison and why he is now the rat's envoy to
South Korea? Take a
look at this should
he deny he was not a mouthpiece for the murderous
Revolutionary United Front of Foday Saybana Sankoh, the
blood thirsty beast who wanted to rule Sierra Leone.
Any wonder why a number of APC
operatives who were a part of the AFRC/RUF murder, rape
and arson machine are now occupying positions in which
they are paid by the sweat of those they maimed,
brutalised, raped and murdered?
Any wonder why elements of the
anti-people conspiracy and who directed the murder
schemes of the AFRC are now in office coming from such
places like the USA, the UK and other parts of the
Take a look at all of the rat's
appointments and you will see clear pattern of
rewarding the enemies of democracy and the people of
Sierra Leone - never mind a sprinkling of others who
were not a part of the AFRC/RUF conspiracy against the