These four leaders Boni Yayi the President of Benin, Mahamadou Issofou of Niger, Alasanne Ouattara of Ivory Coast and Alpha Conde have all recently come into power after elections. And in one form or another each country has had their fair share of growing pains. The leaders also expressed their own unique experiences about how Democracy is working in their particular Countries.
Two of these leaders President Conde and President Issofou have been recent targets of coup attempts in recent weeks. In fact in remarks about this President Conde relied on his experience as a Opposition Leader by not sleeping in the same room more than one night. He also stated that he is drawing the wrath of Senior Military leaders by addressing Corruption and taking away their access to sectors of the Economy. Guinea also is known for being a transit point in both the Drug Trade and Human Trafficking.
In Niger which has a long history of Military Coups since gaining Independence from France in 1960 has several unique challenges to its young Democracy. He stated that Niger like several other states with large desert areas are hard to Police. Therefore Terrorists, Rebels, Arms Traders and Drug Dealers can move freely with Impunity. So the President stated one way to defend Democracy was through Regional Security.
When it comes to Ivory Coast there are two pieces of information that have to be revealed. First of all there was a Small Demonstration by the Opponents of President Outtara. Secondly that same day Amnesty International released a report stating that most Ivorians that were displaced by the Post-Election Violence earlier this year were afraid to return to their homes. With that in mind President Outattara described his experiences being holed up in a Hotel during the impasse that caused the country to explode.
The key part of his remarks was that Democracy is not just about having elections but ensuring that current law and freedom of choice are respected all the time. President Yayi of Benin stated that Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea is a rising concern and threat to his country. It is believed that acts of Piracy are spilling over from the Niger Delta in Nigeria. He also stated how important it is to remove both Impunity and Corruption in his country as well in order for it to move forward.
The Four leaders also made a joint appeal as well. They appealed for the Diaspora to return home and invest in their growing countries. They also appealed for Debt Relief and more Financial Aid from the World as well. It may sound like it will cost a large amount of money. However It will be substantially cheaper than sending Emergency Aid to deal with any future Refugee Crisis that is caused by Fighting.
By Scott A Morgan
The Author also publishes Confused Eagle on the Internet. It can be found at confusedeagle.livejournal.com