Looking at the way a new dawn is unfolding in Maghreb, one can comfortable assert that this is but the beginning of a new dawn for Africa and the Middle East.
It kicked off from Tunisia where a 23 years dictator was impelled to flee. This guy, Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali was a master of manipulation and intimidation. Tunisia was the most docile country in Maghreb. When some riots erupted, Ben Ali used to dispatch his army to quash them. Not once or twice, he succeeded. This made him goof believing he would rule ’til God called him.
Who could risk thinking that a jobless man would become a weapon and figure by which Ben Ali was brought to ground over night? Thanks to a fruit vendor Mohamed Bouazizi, Ben Ali is a fugitive now. How many Bouazizis does African have currently? Many many more of course.
After a successful show of people’s power in Tunisia, Egyptian tyrant Hosni Mubarak became another casualty whose days are but numbered. Anything, anytime can happen in Egypt, where demonstrators have defied all odds to see to it that this tyrant is dragooned for once and for all.
Practically, Mubarak just like other pro-American stooges, was but a face of the US in the Middle East. But as the days go by, the US is no longer interested in her what-used-to-be- good boy Mubarak. This can be seen in the tone and manner in which the US Secretary of State replied, when she was asked to comment on the on-going situation.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was quoted as thus: “We want to see an orderly transition so that no one fills a void, that there not be a void, that there be a well thought out plan that will bring about a democratic participatory government.”
Clinton’s words say it all. The US wants to see Mubarak out as orderly transition comes in and do business with. When demonstrators took to the streets in Tunis, US voice was openly for demonstrators as opposed to Ben Ali’s regime.
This can be taken as a stalk warning for all tyrants that have been in power for decades, that the US is changing her tacks. So should you want to retire honorably, think of relinquishing power you have held dear and hit the road as other competents take over. What you failed to realize in decades you have been in power, you can nary realized even if you are given a hundred years more to rule.
More on Mubarak. The issue is not if he is going to crumble but when. Next door another long time tyrant is gasping for air. This is none other than Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh. This illiterate ruler has been in power for over three decades just like Mubarak.
Just as it was in Tunisia and currently in Egypt, the core of all this is nothing but unemployment, corruption and impunity, nepotism, brutality, lack of vision, long stay in power, manipulation and poverty to mention but a few.
If one looks at how affluent Tunisia and Egypt are compared to South Saharan States, one wonders how our rulers are going to remain in power without tackling the aforementioned anomalies. This being the truth, methinks. Our currently rulers in the region should take a note and change things, before being changed like it is going on in Egypt.
I can bet Sudanese strongman Omar Bashir will be the curtain raiser for SSA. My shew stone tells me that after he lost South Sudan, life is likely to be tough so as to awaken the North Sudanese. Bashir was able to cling unto power thanks for petrodollars he used to get from China and other buyers, who do not bother with human rights. Now that oil-rich South Sudan is gone, where will Bashir get the money to cool down the people? I am told that since referendum, subsidies on oil and sugar is no more. This caused anger to students who took to the streets, but were quashed by the police. Is this the beginning of the end? Time will tell. Though things are still normal on the streets of Khartoum, the heat has already been felt and it is just the matter of time before Sudanese pent-up anger erupts.
When it comes to East Africa, I understand that the region has a high population of youths. So too, it has high unemployment rates. Given that current young people can nary be easily cowered, it is just the matter of time for them to take to the street demanding for their God-given right, namely a better life.
And nobody should goof to think that this so-called Jasmine Revolution is for Arabs only. The way our youths look at life is almost the same the world over. Who doubts this should remember that it is the youths who brought change in America by voting for an African for the first time. To them taboos, “colourbarism” or loyalties are but nonsense. Theirs is good life. Good enough for them and bad enough for our rulers is the fact that most of them are educated. They know how many resources their countries have. So it is not easy for anybody to cheat them.
Who is next is the matter of how Mubarak will be dragooned out.