President William Ruto’s government has expressed its dissatisfaction with the continent’s recurrent military takeovers, particularly in West Africa, where more than five coups have occurred in the last four years.
The country underlined its position opposing military participation in civilian matters in a statement published by Foreign matters Principal Secretary Korir Sing’Oei, stressing that the situation is compounded by world leaders who have been abetting and endorsing the conduct of coup leaders.
The Principal Secretary was responding to transitional Burkina Faso President Captain Ibrahim Traore’s gracious reception during his visit to Russia, where he joined a host of African leaders for a conference.
“The normalisation and dignifying of military takeovers must trouble our great continent. A major rollback to the democratic gains so far made,” the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated.
Sing’Oei stated that such actions would create wrong precedence for future generations who may be tempted to think that military coups are a better option for their countries.
According to Sing’Oei, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invite coup leader, Captain Traore to the summit, appears to encourage or condone such military take-overs which goes against the tenets of democracy.
Captain Traore led a coup against a sitting President Paul-Henri Damiba who was legitimately elected by the people through a democratic process.
Kenya is raising a concerning alarm about the resurgence of coups in Africa, particularly within the Sahel countries, which have been grappling with prolonged political turmoil.
In a separate address to the world, President William Ruto on Friday, July 28, condemned the coup in Niger, calling the army takeover a serious setback for Africa.
“On Wednesday Africa suffered a serious setback in its democratic gains as the aspirations of the people of Niger for constitutional democracy were subverted by an unconstitutional change of government that deposed Mohamed Bazoum, a democratically elected president,” Ruto stated in a video message.
Speaking in Mombasa, President Ruto called on the Niger military guards to release the detained leader Mohamed Bazoum who has been confined to his residence since Wednesday, July 23, by his own presidential guard.
Meanwhile, in Niger, the chief of the Presidential Guard, General Abdourahamane Tchiani has been named president of the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland.
The Kenyan government’s stand on the matter has been met with mixed reactions as many people warned that the coups are as a result of unpredictable electoral systems which often culminate in disputed elections.
“The question we must grapple with is whether our nascent democratic trajectories are not isomorphic mimicry. Democracy is more than elections.
“It’s about institutions (judiciary, justice system, civil service, parliament) and civil liberties reflected in press freedom,” Professor Alex Owiti, who is a regular political pundit observed.
Awiti’s views were shared by many people who called on President Ruto to build strong institutions in the country so as to avoid the challenges that are being witnessed in West Africa.