Tinpot tyrants no more

Thursday December 27 2012

Yet another African country the Central African Republic is about to be taken over by a ragtag army in what seems to be slowly becoming routine. It is astonishing that government troops can be ordered to lay down their arms by rebels. (Read: UN pulls non-essential staff out of Central African Republic)

The countries that have been taken over by guerrilla fighters include Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. And now Central African Republic’s Francois Bozize is being given ultimatums by bush fighters.

All those countries have one thing in common: They have been ruled at one time or the other by despots, murderous buffoons, and tinpot dictators – people who relied on force of arms to rule, having destroyed their countries’ institutions of governance and proceeded to plunder their treasuries, leaving their armies starving.

On Tuesday, CAR rebels told Bozize that if his troops surrendered, they would not take over the capital city, Bangui. Since they have already captured 10 major towns, there is no doubt they can easily carry out their threat.

The lesson from this sad situation is that the era of dictators and military juntas in Africa is about over. The people will not be cowed by force of arms and secret police forever.