Africa's Youth Must Learn From Burkina Faso And Eject All Tyrants

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Uganda's Museveni -- is he next?

In Burkina Faso the youth have done what all the young people of Africa should do -- chase away from power thieving dictators who want to be president for life.

Blaise Campaore, in office since he killed an African hero Thomas Sankara in 1987 tried to strong-arm the country's Parliament into voting a change to the constitution which would've allowed him to run again for the presidency next year.

He had ignored all appeals from civil society and the opposition not to abuse the constitution. So before Parliament could cast the vote, young people took matters into their hands -- they raided Parliament buildings and set it on fire. The youth also attacked and destroyed the homes belonging to relatives and close associates of Campaore.

The dictator saw the writing on the wall and he resigned before fleeing the capital city in a heavily armed convoy heading in the direction of Po, a town towards the border with Ghana.

Although leaders of the military have stepped in, they insist, to fill a power vacuum -- they too should beware.

Should they decide to block the evolution of democratic governance in Burkina Faso, then they too could end up leaving the capital, Ouagadougou, in long convoys.

There are several other African countries where the majority of the population are young, as in Burkina Faso, and unemployed. In Uganda, for example, where dictator Yoweri Museveni has been in office for 28 years, youth unemployment is estimated anywhere between 63% to 80%; reportedly the highest in the whole world. Things could become more combustible in the following months since the dictator insists on running again in 20016.

A split has emerged within his own ruling party and given the popular discontent, it won't be much of a surprise if he also ends up departing in a long convoy or a flight out of the country since the State House is very near the airport. As was the case with Campaore, Gen. Museveni's immediate family and close associates have also been fleecing the national treasury and would likely accompany him.

Other countries with long term rulers include Angola, Sudan, Congo Republic (Brazaville), Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and Zimbabwe.

Things are desperate for youth in Africa. Apart from the high-rates of unemployment, they see no path for them to inherit the reins of state power. With such increasing feelings of desperation, youth in Africa will conclude that they have nothing to lose. This was what motivated Burkina Faso's young to become bold and fearless.

Similar actions may be repeated in other African countries unless tyrants step aside and allow a new crop of young leaders to command center-stage.

 

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