Golpe de Estado

La caída del presidente Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (IBK) tras el golpe de estado en Mali plasma el fracaso de la estrategia securitaria internacional en el país. El descontento social ha aupado una toma de poder que agrava las múltiples crisis de este territorio clave para la UE en la contención del terrorismo y la migración. Aunque el cambio de régimen parece dejar a Francia y Occidente sin un aliado primordial en el Sahel, ¿amenaza realmente a sus intereses?

La población de Mali ha dicho basta. Harta del mal gobierno, la pobreza y la violencia que desangra al país estos últimos años, gran parte del pueblo maliense ha aplaudido el derrocamiento del presidente, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (IBK), a manos de militares comandados por el coronel Assimi Goita.…  Seguir leyendo »

Malians supporting the overthrow of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta gather to celebrate in the capital, Bamako, on Aug. 21. (Baba Ahmed/AP)

In Mali, after weeks of large-scale demonstrations demanding that President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta resign, the military settled the matter. Amid international condemnation of last week’s coup deposing Keïta, thousands of Malians celebrated in the streets.

With a military junta running the country, are Malians ready to give up on democracy? Here’s what Malians themselves have to say, based on a recent Afrobarometer survey.

The March-April 2020 survey revealed textbook conditions for a popular uprising as well as strong popular trust in the military — factors that may explain why many Malians seem to welcome, or at least accept, a coup as the country’s best chance to escape a downward spiral of corruption, poor services and economic failure.…  Seguir leyendo »

Malian security forces observe the arrival of former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan at the airport in Bamako, Mali, on Saturday. (AP)

On Aug. 18, a group of military officers forced Mali’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, to resign. Among other concerns, the officers expressed their dissatisfaction with the government’s handling of ethnic violence in the country.

While the coup officers and regional leaders discuss how Mali will return to civilian rule, our research suggests an unintended consequence of the coup: Will the U.N. peacekeeping operation in Mali, MINUSMA, be able to continue its efforts to prevent the country’s security situation from deteriorating further?

So what is the United Nations doing in Mali?

MINUSMA deployed to Mali in 2013 as part of an international effort to restore order to parts of the country ravaged by conflict.…  Seguir leyendo »

Colonel-Major Ismael Wague, center, the spokesman for the soldiers identifying themselves as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, holds a news conference at Camp Soudiata in Kati, Mali, on Wednesday. (AP)

We heard the gunfire and rumbling of the military vehicles before we saw them. As the troops rolled into Mali’s capital city of Bamako on Tuesday, they chanted “baara bana!” in our local language of Bambara, which literally means “the job is over.”

That morning, mutinying troops from an army base in Kati, near Bamako, stormed the residence of the president, and arrested both President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and Prime Minister Boubou Cissé, along with other high-ranking government and army officials. Throngs of mostly young Malians excitedly joined the clamor. Many of these young people welcomed the coup as scores of young people are completely disillusioned with the corrupt regime, unemployed as a result of our country’s economic collapse or restless due to covid-19.…  Seguir leyendo »

Press conference in Kati after the military arrested Malian president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and he officially resigned. Photo by ANNIE RISEMBERG / AFP via Getty Images.

The coup in Mali is not a putsch by disgruntled soldiers in a distant land. It is an extended European neighbourhood and matters to Britain. The UK already has three Chinook helicopters deployed in country and 250 British troops are scheduled to take up UN peacekeeping duties in December in what could be the ministry of defence’s most dangerous deployment since Afghanistan.

This coup was not unexpected as it followed months of mass protests against alleged corruption, a worsening economy, disputed legislative election results and deteriorating security in this West African country. Mali’s military is struggling to stop the insurgents, some of them now also affiliated with the ISIL (ISIS) armed group, despite UN, EU, French and regional military support.…  Seguir leyendo »

A crowd of people cheer Malian army soldiers at the Independence Square after a mutiny, in Bamako, Mali August 18, 2020. Picture taken August 18, 2020. REUTERS/Moussa Kalapo

A la faveur d’un coup d’Etat ayant vu l’arrestation du président malien Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta et de son Premier ministre Boubou Cissé, les militaires ont pris le pouvoir au Mali le 18 août 2020. Ce coup est la dernière expression en date d’une crise politique majeure, marquée depuis début juin par de nombreuses manifestations qui réclament la démission du président Keïta. Les partenaires régionaux et internationaux de Bamako demandent, en toute légitimité, que l’ordre constitutionnel soit restauré. Ils doivent maintenir la pression sur les militaires afin que ceux-ci tiennent leur engagement de restituer le pouvoir aux civils dans les plus brefs délais.…  Seguir leyendo »

Security forces drive through the Mali capital of Bamako on Wednesday, a day after soldiers fired into the air outside President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta’s home and took him into custody. (AP)

Soldiers and armored vehicles appeared on the streets in the key garrison town of Kati, Mali, on Tuesday morning, just outside the capital, Bamako. What began as an apparent faceoff between mutinying soldiers and army loyalists has resulted in the arrest of senior officers and government ministers.

By Tuesday evening, mutinying soldiers arrested President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta. It’s unclear whether this mutiny began as an organized attempt to topple Keïta or if it resulted from isolated grievances. What is clear is Keïta’s time in power is over.

What just happened?

Mali’s troops have been engaged in an ongoing conflict in central and northern Mali — but have frequently gone unpaid and hungry under Keïta’s leadership, due to corrupt diversion of wages.…  Seguir leyendo »

La atribución a la oposición de supuestas intenciones golpistas es una estrategia habitual de dictadores y autócratas para ampliar su poder y acabar con la democracia.

1. Evo Morales, 2019, Bolivia

«Está en marcha un golpe de Estado de la extrema derecha con apoyos internacionales» dijo Evo Morales después de las elecciones nacionales de octubre de 2019. Elecciones en las que su porcentaje de voto creció como por arte de magia tras un parón de 24 horas en el recuento, supuestamente a causa de un fallo informático.

La Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA) decretó que Evo Morales había amañado las elecciones, la oposición salió a la calle y Morales se vio obligado a dimitir el 10 de noviembre.…  Seguir leyendo »

Sobre la reforma del Código Penal

Ninguno de los Códigos Penales que en España ha habido desde 1822 ha definido el golpe de Estado como delito con ese mismo nombre. Los nombres han sido diversos —delitos contra la forma de gobierno o delito de rebelión—, pero nunca golpe de Estado. A falta de su definición legal, contamos con dos acepciones del Diccionario del español jurídico de la Real Academia de la Lengua que recoge el concepto vulgar o popular: “Destitución, por la fuerza u otros medios inconstitucionales, de quien ostenta el poder político” y “Desmantelamiento de las instituciones constitucionales sin seguir el procedimiento establecido”.

Esa definición se corresponde cabalmente con el delito de rebelión que todas las fuerzas políticas —incluidas CiU, el PNV y ERC— aprobaron en las reformas del Código Penal (CP) hechas por las Leyes Orgánicas 2/1981, de 4 de mayo (dos meses después del 23-F) y 14/1985 (casi cinco años después del 23-F).…  Seguir leyendo »

Las fuerzas de seguridad en Cochabamba, Bolivia, enfrentaron a los simpatizantes del expresidente Evo Morales el lunes pasado, tres días después de una confrontación que ocasionó la muerte de nueve manifestantes. Credit... Juan Karita/Associated Press

A primera vista, la caída de Evo Morales, expresidente de Bolivia, podría parecer una victoria para la democracia. Después de todo, su gobierno populista se había vuelto cada vez menos democrático. Luego de ocupar la presidencia durante tres periodos, Morales convocó un referéndum en 2016 con la idea de eliminar las restricciones a los mandatos que establece la constitución. Cuando los bolivianos votaron en contra de la propuesta, el Tribunal Constitucional, repleto de partidarios de Morales, le permitió postularse al cargo de todas maneras con el argumento absurdo de que las restricciones a los mandatos violaban su “derecho humano” de contender a la presidencia.…  Seguir leyendo »

Sudanese protesters open their smartphones lights as they gather for a "million-strong" march outside the army headquarters in Khartoum on April 25, 2019. Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images.

Many Sudanese believe that the uprising is moving in the right direction and will ultimately deliver a transition to a legitimate civilian government. However, this outcome remains finely balanced and there are valid concerns about the intentions of the new transitional military council and a possible return to dictatorship.

The military council maintains the need for a transitional period of up to two years before handing over power to civilians. But the protests have continued, despite the military’s attempts at gentle dispersion, and there are worries about how much patience the armed forces will continue to show.

There is significant potential for increased violence, particularly if demands for a rapid transition towards an inclusive, transitional civilian government are not met.…  Seguir leyendo »

Sudanese protesters hold up brooms as they rally Monday near a military headquarters in Khartoum, after the ouster of longtime president Omar al-Bashir. (AFP/Getty Images)

Last week, after months of increasing protests, the Sudanese army announced that it would soon make an important statement, leading to speculation about an imminent coup. Within what seemed like minutes, the news service Arabiya announced that President Omar al-Bashir, after 20 years in power, was stepping down. A transitional military council announced it would rule for two years, followed by al-Bashir’s arrest.

Clearly, the military did topple the government. The African Union denounced the military takeover, and protesters are still in the streets demanding civilian rule.

Since the end of World War II, the top three most common ways autocrats have left power are through coups, elections, and negotiated settlements.…  Seguir leyendo »

On April 11, the Sudanese military carried out a takeover against President Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s dictator for the past 30 years. The military takeover came after months of popular protests, with citizens demanding a democratic transition.

General Awad Ibn Auf, an ally of Bashir’s, became president — but just for a day. On April 12, Ibn Auf bowed out as the protests continued. Lt. General Abdel-Fattah Burhan then assumed power.

Despite ousting two autocrats in two days, it’s unclear whether Sudan will transition to democracy in the near term. Here are four things to know about the political situation:

1. Popular mobilization against Bashir intensified over the past four months

Last week’s sudden shifts came amid widespread popular dissatisfaction with Bashir — some of it long-standing.…  Seguir leyendo »

Demonstrators gather in Sudan's capital of Khartoum Friday as the Sudanese protest movement has rejected the military's declaration that it has no ambitions to hold the reins of power for long after ousting the president of 30 years, Omar Hassan al-Bashir. (Anonymous/AP)

For the past decade, governments around the world lined up to legitimize the regime of Omar Hassan al-Bashir in Sudan — even as it continued to attack civilians in Darfur, burn Christian churches, deny food to areas of the Nuba Mountains, provide support to extremist groups, and arrest and torture protesters. Instead of confronting these abuses, the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, the African Union, China, Russia and Persian Gulf countries all sought ways to strengthen relations with his government.

Only one constituency stood up to Bashir and his allied generals: the Sudanese people themselves. After years of organizing and resisting, Sudan’s pro-reform social movement catalyzed protests across the country, resulting in a “palace coup ” on Thursday .…  Seguir leyendo »

The ouster of Sudanese dictator Omar Hassan al-Bashir after 30 years in power has been a long time coming. His removal and arrest — by his former military colleagues — were the culmination of popular protests in several Sudanese cities, which have effectively been going on for the past four months, initially sparked by a spiraling cost of living and the deterioration of economic conditions. However, the manner of his departure has left a sour taste in the mouths of many protesters.

That Bashir has basically been removed by his second in command, Awad Ibn Auf, implies that little has actually changed.…  Seguir leyendo »

On Thursday, after about four months of continuous protests, the Sudanese people achieved the seemingly improbable. They brought down one of the world’s most corrupt and inhumane military dictators — peacefully.

This momentous event, which can only be described as a revolution, would not have been possible if Sudan’s youth had not dared to dream of freedom and to persist in that dream. Theirs is a revolution born of great pain and frustration, but also increasingly fueled by witty humor, joy and a stubbornness that insists on the celebration of life and Sudan’s diversity, in conscious and dramatic contrast to the violence and inhumanity of the regime of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.…  Seguir leyendo »

Omar Hassan al-Bashir, now the former president, in 2017. Credit Ashraf Shazly/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Thirty years feels like a lifetime. On Thursday, months of peaceful, popular protests finally forced Sudan’s military to oust President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. It feels as if a century has passed since I was in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, just after Mr. al-Bashir ousted Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi in a bloodless coup supported by the Islamists and the army in December 1989.

Six months after the coup the mood was already shifting from shock to gloomy resignation. Nobody in his wildest dreams thought the new leadership would last three decades.

I had no idea then that the Khartoum I knew would disappear: the evening lights, the cinemas and ice cream parlors.…  Seguir leyendo »

Crowds of Sudanese gathered at the army headquarters on Thursday, chanting “The regime has fallen.” Credit Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Widespread peaceful protests have forced Sudan’s long-serving military ruler, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, out of office. But a transition to democracy is going to be far more difficult and will need prompt international support.

During his 30 years in power, Mr. Bashir built a hydra-headed military and security apparatus. On Thursday, a cabal of his henchmen in the military replaced him and took over. Gen. Awad Ibn Auf, Sudan’s minister of defense, appeared on state television and announced the end of Mr. Bashir’s era and the beginning of a two-year transition period during which the army will rule. Though he promised “representation of the people,” many Sudanese will see this as betraying their demand for democracy.…  Seguir leyendo »

When Jair Bolsonaro, then a congressman, voted for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff in 2016, he criticized Brazil’s left wing, declaring, “they lost in 1964, they lost again in 2016.» He then dedicated his vote to “the memory of Carlos Alberto Brilhante Ustra — the dread of Dilma Rousseff.” This quote comes to mind this week after Bolsonaro, now president of Brazil, ordered the country’s military to commemorate the anniversary of the March 31, 1964 coup that resulted in military rule and propelled Ustra’s rise.

Ustra was an army colonel who headed the Doi-Codi intelligence service in the 1970s. He became known for overseeing the use of horrifying torture techniques on political prisoners.…  Seguir leyendo »

May 28, 1974: A group of armed men breaks into my apartment. They start going through drawers and cabinets — but I don’t know what they’re looking for, I’m just a rock songwriter. One of them, more gentle, asks that I accompany them “just to clarify some things.” The neighbor sees all this and warns my family, who immediately panic. Everyone knew what Brazil was living at the time, even if it wasn’t covered in the newspapers.

I was taken to the DOPS (Departamento de Ordem Politica e Social), booked and photographed. I ask what I had done, he says they will ask the questions.…  Seguir leyendo »