JK denounces military coups

jakaya_kikwete.jpgOutgoing African Union (AU) Chairman President Jakaya Kikwete has strongly expressed his disapproval to military coups, saying there had never been a good one anywhere.

President Kikwete told the 12th AU Assembly in Addis Ababa late
Tuesday, that Africa should collectively and strongly denounce all
those who usurp power through undemocratic means such as coup d’etats.

According to a statement issued by the Directorate of Presidential
Communications in Dar es Salaam, Mr Kikwete made the remarks in
response to appeals that AU should lift its suspension to Guinea and
Mauritania. The AU Chairman, Muammar Gaddafi of Libya and Senegalese
President Abdoulaye Wade had asked for reinstatement of the two
countries on grounds that army had justification to take over.

Mr Kikwete’s position was supported by President Idriss Deby of Chad,
President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Ethiopia’s Premier Meles
Zenawi. President Wade had contended that unlike other military coups,
Guinea military junta had been accepted by the Guineans. He said during
his recent visit to Conakry he witnessed popular support to the
military junta.

President Kikwete, however, differed with the Senegalese leader, saying
under military rule anything including the so-called street rallies in
support to the rulers could be stage managed. He said all those who
aspire for leadership must secure the people’s consent through the
ballot and in case the aspirant was a soldier, he or she should first
discard the uniforms and follow democratic channels to become a

Mr Kikwete said in many cases military rulers come in, pretend that
they would rule shortly, but ended up clinging on to power for decades
as was the case with Guinea’s Lassana Conte who stayed for 24 years.
President Kikwete’s submission ended up making the Libyan leader change
his position on military juntas. President Museveni said the core
function of the army is to maintain peace and order in a country and
not to rule. "There has never been a good military coup in history," he

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