Africa Vs. The Trump Spillover Effect
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA often prides itself as the chief police on global diplomacy. However, the events of the last week which saw supporters of the country’s 45th President Donald Trump raiding the seat of Congress and leading to the deaths of five persons, has given the once-feared superpower a taste of what many nations across the continent of Africa has endured for much of the past several decades.
COUP D’ETATS, RIOTS CIVIL WARS and domestic disturbances have been the order of the day, drawing rebuke from the US and other superpowers, clamping and asserting their voice on bad governance, greed, corruption and nepotism, vices the administration of President Trump breached without remorse over the past four years.
THE US IN PARTICULAR has been vocal in sticking it to governments around the world, rarely spared in the State Department’s annual report chronicling human rights abuses and corruption.
THANKS TO MR. TRUMP, the US has become the laughingstock of the world and even rebuke from its adopted stepchild Liberia, whose President George Weah has condemned last week’s vandalism at US Capitol.
THE PRESIDENT, in an executive mansion statement at the weekend, said he shares the sentiments of all those who have been adversely impacted by the violence.
WHILE CONDEMNING THE INCIDENT, the Liberian Leader assured Americans that Liberia still has faith in the U.S. democratic system of governance from which Liberia’s is modeled. “As my country’s foremost international partner, and drawing on our historical ties, Liberia stands in solidarity with the American people during these trying times,” President Weah said.
ADDING HIS VOICE to the riots on the seat of the US Congress, Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa rightly tweeted that the US “has no moral right to punish other nations under the guise of democracy”.
THE IRONY was not lost on Goodluck Jonathan, the former Nigerian President who posted on Facebook last week that it is not too late to reject the venom and allow the wish of the people to be done for the sake of peace.
SAID JONATHAN: “I have repeatedly said nobody’s political ambition is worth the blood of any citizen, in any part of the world. Absolutely nobody. Again, I reiterate that it is better to lose power at the cost of gaining peace, than to gain power at the price of losing the peace. As a leader, one must not just look unto one’s own interest, but the interest and the good of society.”
MR. TRUMP who has said he will not be attending the inauguration of his successor, President-elect Joe Biden, is facing mounting calls for his impeachment.
THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY plans to introduce an article of impeachment against the embattled President for his role in last Wednesday’s invasion of the US Capitol. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would move forward with impeachment if Mr. Trump did not resign immediately. The charge of “incitement of insurrection” is set to be introduced by House Democrats on Monday.
THE DEMOCRATS ARE accusing Mr. Trump of encouraging a riot in Congress in which five people died.
MR. TRUMP HAS DONE more harm to not just himself but to the US’s status as a dominant superpower.
THE PRESIDENT is no doubt responsible for giving hate groups like the Proud Boys ammunition to foment violence in the US capitol.
BACKINGH A TERROR group like the Proud Boys, renowned for its radicalism, transphobic and dangerous rhetoric clearly puts the US on the receiving end of criticisms.
MR. TRUMP DID NOT help his case when he described when he expressed strong support for the rioters while the riot was going on, releasing a short video calling for the rioters to leave while peppering his response with sympathy, telling the rioters, “We love you, you’re very special.”
MR. TRUMP mentioned in the video the false conspiracy theory that he actually won the 2020 election, saying, “I know your pain, I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election, and everyone knows it. Especially the other side. But you have to go home now. We have to have peace.”
ADDITIONALLY, MR. TRUMP, in social media posts, said, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away.”
MR. TRUMP HAS EFFECTIVELY STAINED the image of America with labels of dictatorships and bloodshed and his rule of the past four years has no doubt landed in him in a bad company of some of the ruthless African dictators.
RULERS WHO ruled with iron fists on a continent in tatters for much of the last few decades. The likes of Francisco Macias Nquema of Equatorial New Guinea, General Sani Abacha of Nigeria, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Tedodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial New Guinea, Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan, General Idi Amin Dada of Uganda, Idriss Deby of Chad, Mobutu Sese Seko of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Charles Taylor and Samuel Doe of Liberia, led nations on the brinks of uncertainty and chaos, something the US has endured over the past four years.
THE INCOMING administration of President-elect Joe Biden has its work cut out in working toward restoring America’s image, dampened by the last four years by Mr. Trump, a period which will no doubt take several years of soul searching to repair.