The African continent, and the Sahel in particular, are hit by a wave of coups d'état that seems unstoppable, but in addition to condemnation it is necessary to understand the root causes that fuel them: in Africa the Western model of democracy does not work. With these words the Transitional President of Guinea, Mamady Doumbouya, he defended not only the coup d'état with which he came to power in September 2021, but also those which between 2020 and 2023 led to overturns of the constitutional order also in neighboring Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Gabon.
Speaking from the rostrum of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Colonel Doumbouya once again defended the coup which deposed the president Alpha Conde, stating that the action was decided "to save our country from complete chaos", and called on Western powers to stop considering African countries as "children". “Today, Africans are smarter than ever and more determined than ever to take control of their destiny,” he observed, underlining that the “transitions” underway in Africa are due to several factors, including “unfulfilled promises, the lethargy of the population and the leaders who tamper with the Constitution with the aim of remaining in power”.
Expressing concern over the unequal distribution of wealth that creates endless inequalities, famine and poverty, the colonel said: “When the wealth of a country is in the hands of an elite while newborns die in hospitals due to lack of incubators, it is not surprising that (…) we are seeing transitions to respond to people's deep aspirations”. The Guinean coup leader then denounced the fact that Africa suffers from a governance model that was imposed on it by the West. “We are all aware that this democratic model that you so insidiously and skillfully imposed on us after the La Baule summit (in 1990) in France does not work. The various economic and social indices demonstrate this clearly,” he said, adding that “this is not a value judgment on democracy itself.”
According to Doumbouya, this model - "harmful" for the economy and the local transformation of Guinea's natural resources - has contributed to maintaining a system of "exploitation and plunder" of its resources. “The transition I lead has chosen to methodically focus on clear objectives in a precise order: social, economic and political,” she underlined. The Sahel is going through one of the most serious crises in its very long history. In this context, Colonel Doumbouya stressed that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) must stop engaging in politics and favor dialogue. “The African people are tired, exhausted of the categorizations with which everyone wants to trap us,” he said, declaring: “We are neither pro-nor anti-American, nor pro-nor anti-Chinese, nor pro-nor anti-French, nor pro-nor anti-Russian, neither pro-nor anti-Turkish. We are simply pro-African." “It's time to stop lecturing us, to stop patronizing us like children,” he concluded.
A speech, that of the Guinean coup leader, who acts as spokesperson for the position of that entire series of Sahel countries - from Mali to Burkina Faso, up to Niger - theater in recent years of a series of coups that have definitively distanced them from French orbit bringing them closer to the Russian one. A change that risks having serious repercussions on the control of strategic resources - especially in the case of Niger, rich in uranium - and on that of migratory routes. In this regard, it is worth remembering that Guinea is the first country of origin of migrants who land in Italy every day. According to data from the Ministry of the Interior, since the beginning of the year, 15.240 migrants of Guinean nationality have landed on the Italian coast, a figure higher than the 14.402 of Ivorian nationality and the 12.213 of Tunisian nationality. These numbers are dramatically increasing if compared to those relating to the entire period of 2022, when "only" 4.473 Guinean migrants had landed in Italy, placing the Sahelian country in seventh place among those departing after Egypt (20.542), Tunisia ( 18.148), Bangladesh (14.982), Syria (8.594), Afghanistan (7.241) and Ivory Coast (5.973).