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Kaifala '13 Says Military Coups Still Haunt African Democracy

April 23, 2012

Vermont Law School student Joseph Kaifala '13 recently wrote a commentary titled "Military Coups Still Haunt African Democracy" in PolicyMic.

Image of Joseph Kaifala"Recent events in Africa reawakened a ghost many of us thought was exorcised at the end of the last millennium, but the past few weeks have shown that the spirit of military coup d'états has not yet been laid to rest," he wrote.

"There is no doubt that Mali, Guinea Bissau, and many other African countries need political change, but the African people should not settle for regression in governance. What we aspire to in the 21st century are governments of the people, by the people, and for the people. It is the people who hold the right to change their government, not the armed forces. The African people should remain adamant against reversing our humble achievements in democratic governance, and our regional organizations must stand by the will of the people, which is ballots not bullets."

Kaifala is executive director of the Jeneba Project, a nonprofit group dedicated to improving education for children in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. He was born in Sierra Leone and spent his early childhood in Liberia and Guinea. He speaks six languages and holds a master's degree in international relations from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.

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