a first in kenya

Civilian control of the military is one of the hallmarks of true democracy. This ideal has however been elusive in most of the world, including sub-Saharan Africa; a region where civilian and military presidencies are scared stiff of the men in the barracks.

It was therefore refreshing to see Kenyan military chiefs answering (some) questions infront of the parliamentary committee on defense and foreign relations. This was then followed by the resignation of senior military officers implicated in the scandal. One hopes that this will then be followed by the two being court-martialed.

Former President Moi must be wondering if he time-traveled these last few days. As Kenyans would say, tumetoka mbali (we have come from far)

coup claim in madagascar

UPDATE: The BBC reports that soldiers loyal to Rajoelina have stormed the barracks where the mutinying soldiers were ensconced to restore order and discipline. It is not clear how many casualties, if any, resulted from this operation.


Military officers in Madagascar have announced that they are in charge and have dissolved all government institutions on the day of a crucial referendum to lower the age requirement for president. Col Charles Andrianasoavina made the announcement. The country’s Premier, Camille Vital, has however denied the coup claim in a statement supported by the country’s top military brass. The situation is still unfolding.

Current president, former mayor of Antananarivo and DJ, Andry Rajoelina, took power in a 2009 coup and wants to lower the age limit to 35 so that he, 36, can legally be president.

Madagascar, the island nation off the east coast of continental Africa, has 21.2 million people, half of whom live below the poverty line. The country’s per capita income is US$ 1000 and life expectancy is just over 63 years. 80% of the country lives on agriculture, including fishing and forestry. Early this year, Antananarivo unfairly lost its duty free access to the US under AGOA* for hypocritical political reasons.

*Africa Growth and Opportunity Act