The couper-troupers are starting to grow on me. Having taken power after the last strongman died (previous posts here and here) they have apparently held a meeting asking the country’s unions and opposition groups to suggest a new prime minister.
What they seem to be doing is trying to bring in all the strands that have in the last few years protested against and tried to displace the corrupt regime of the former president, while also bringing on board the remains of the old government, and publically paying tribute to the elderly kleptocrat.
This openness to bringing in all parties may well be more rhetorical than real – we’ll have to see. But it seems like a smart bet to preserve stability and get some base. It also, of course, means that any movement for radical change is co-opted and de-fanged, so as to ensure that what comes after is not too different to what came before.
Internationally, they continue to have a rough time, getting hostile receptions from the USA, EU, and AU. Interestingly, the president of Senegal seems to have become their new best friend and spokesman to the rest of the world. Abdoulaye Wade seems to be a big pusher of intra-African integration, as befits a country that has in the past twice attempted to merge with neighbours (namely Mali and Gambia) so maybe the calculation he’s making is “these guys are clearly going to hang onto power, they know what they’re doing – if I help them out now, together we can strengthen our regional position”. Or maybe not. It’s not like I actually know anything about this, I’m just reporting what the bones seem to indicate.