Thursday, August 31st. The President of Uganda decides to forcibly retire eleven generals from the Armed Forces. The same had just happened in Rwanda and Cameroon. Wednesday, August 30th. A military junta announces to the international community and the national community that President Ali Bongo has been ousted. A military coup in Gabon. Wednesday, July 26th. A military junta announces the overthrow of President Mohamed Bazoum. A military coup in Niger.
There is no doubt that there is a broad movement underway in Africa. How these coups will effectively unfold is still too early to say. However, one thing is already clear and straightforward: they are directed against French imperialist domination in these countries. They arise from a revolt against the plundering policies operated by rich countries, turning Africa into a sort of hunting ground.
It becomes even more defined when considering some other events. On the one hand, if we take into account the military coups that occurred in 2021 in Guinea and Mali and the military coup that happened in 2022 in Burkina Faso, the recent events in Africa appear as the acceleration of a large-scale process that has been ongoing for at least three years.
Other relevant events include recent meetings between representatives of oppressed countries. Just before the coup in Niger, the summit of African countries with Russia took place. “African heads of state must stop behaving like puppets of the imperialists,” declared Ibrahim Traoré, president of Burkina Faso at the event, revealing the trend of confrontation with rich countries by the more nationalist sectors of African regimes. Not coincidentally, the coup in Gabon also happened shortly after a highly significant event: the 15th BRICS Summit, which resulted in the participation of African countries such as Egypt and Ethiopia.
What all these events reveal is that the ongoing movement is, in fact, a kind of “domino effect.” A spectacular downfall of French domination in the African continent. France is an imperialist country that is very weakened, while Russia has openly challenged imperialism and has been extremely successful. With the increasingly evident weakness of oppressors, the global trend is towards a complete rebellion against the world order.
The rebellion of African countries is closely related to all the major demonstrations of weakness by oppressors. The United States, owners of the world’s most powerful military, were defeated by ragtag militias in Afghanistan. Ukraine, even with the support of all imperialist countries, is in a process of social disintegration due to its defeat against Russia.
The weakening of imperialism is the fundamental factor behind all these military coups in Africa. In all the African countries that have rebelled, there were extremely authoritarian and corrupt governments, but they managed to maintain their dominance because they were feared. Ali Bongo, for example, was seen as “Obama’s man in Africa” – that is, someone directly connected to the most powerful regime in the world. Challenging his authority would be the same as picking a fight with NATO, the CIA, and the US military.
With imperialism weakened, the power of its puppets in Africa also becomes profoundly weakened. And as rulers are gradually overthrown one by one, nationalist military forces are showing oppressed peoples that it is possible to defeat the dictatorship of imperialist countries.
Here’s to more nationalist coups ahead. Out with imperialism from Africa!