President Museveni has said that coups are not the solution to African problems, adding that they might worsen the problem.
In a statement on military coups in Africa released on Friday afternoon, the president said whereas he is not sure of the ideological position of coup-makers, clues suggest that many of them are not part of the freedom fighters.
“The African Union has made some positive steps in working for the realization of some of our five strategic aims. The OAU supported the decolonization of Africa by creating the committee of 9 that co-ordinated the anti-colonial armed struggle,”Museveni said.
The president explained that with the acceptance and launching of the Continental Free Trade Area as one of the strategic aims of the African freedom fighters to ensure prosperity, the African Union outlawed coups.
“Who, then, are you to make a coup against the decision of the AU? Whose interest are you serving,” Museveni wondered.
Speaking directly about the latest coup that led to the ousting of the Guinea President Alpha Conde by the Special forces led by Lieutenant Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, Museveni accused the coup leaders of being arrogant while giving orders to former officials in the ousted president’s government.
“I was amazed and amused by the arrogance of these people. When summoning former government ministers etc, one of them said that if anybody summoned does not come, he/she will be regarded as having declared rebellion!! Really!! Especially for the politicians, they have a right and even an obligation to say “No” , to whatever they don’t agree with. Saying “No”, includes not attending meetings called. It is a peaceful way of showing one’s unhappiness,” Museveni said.
“ It is up to the organizer to come and see why I did not come to the called meeting so that, if he can, he addresses and cures the grievance. To declare that peaceful abstaining from a meeting is rebellion, shows that you may be a fascist.”
Museveni said coup leaders don’t have the right to interfere with the continent’s destiny by deposing presidents and governments in power.
“It is good that the African Union accepted the minimum position of outlawing these coups. The freedom fighters, who themselves have not harmonized well among themselves, but must reject flunkeyism, should have no problem with leaders that do not share their views provided they are elected.”
“ Election means one person, one vote, by secret ballot, at regular intervals. This is the minimum they all have set and it is a good one. If people who do not share our views win the elections, provided they do not engage in extra–judicial killings, we should accept their leadership and struggle against their wrong positions peacefully. The position of one person, one vote, by secret ballot, at regular intervals, is a good minimum position because it addresses the substance of democracy, which means the continuous and perpetual supremacy of the sovereignty of the people. Nobody has a right to interfere with this.”
Museveni's statement comes a few weeks after the military deposed Guinea's leader, Alpha Conde.
The coup was the fourth in West Africa in just over a year. There have been two military takeovers in Mali and a failed attempt in Niger since August 2020.
The 83-year-old president in October 2020 won a controversial third term after changing the constitution earlier in March that year to allow him run for another term.
Demonstrations against Conde’s third terms saw a number of people killed in clashes with security forces.
Conde was among the heads of state who attended President Museveni’s swearing in earlier this year.