When Togo’s army anointed the son of its dead president to be the new leader, it not only ignored its constitution but also challenged Africa’s emerging democratic order as envisioned by the African Union charter.
The new Union is setup among other things to create democratic institutions and end Africa’s image as a continent ruled by despots who seize power through the barrel of a gun. But Togo’s curious experiment with hereditary democracy is putting to a test the will of other African heads of state to put a stop to this madness that has engulf our continent for decades. Are they going to take a stance and pave way for the stability of emerging African democracies or are they sticking to the threat of imposing so called sanctions that only hurt the poor… which in the case of Togo is about 90% of it’s people.
If the trend in Africa is toward more accountable government, this cannot stand in Togo. However reading through the day’s dispatches from the continent gives me the impression that most African union leaders are caught up in a classic case of stability versus political change. They have not change much from the hey days of African coups, that African heads of government looked after each other, took care of each other, if one seized power, the others rallied around and told the West not to meddle in Africa’s affairs… all in the name of maintaining security. Human rights and the rule of law be damned.
Togo’s parliament is a creature of the Eyadema family and by calling on them to remedy the situation in that nation or face sanctions, the African Union is just throwing in the towel and Togo will just continue to be a fiefdom of the Eyademas.