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Trump Is Pushing The Country To The Brink Of Civil War

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On Wednesday Trump yet again refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power following the election: “Well, we’re going to have to see what happens. You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots and the ballots are a disaster.” Trump has demonstrated beyond any doubt that he has no respect for American democracy as such. His words should be seen as an assault on the very foundations of this country, which is first and foremost a nation that has always ensured and honored the smooth succession of executive authority. What the president said is nothing short of treasonous, and may well lead to open violence should he lose — a situation for which he is apparently prepared and fomenting his base. Trump has said and done much that was harmful during his time in office, but this statement may be the very worst and most dangerous thing that has ever come out of his mouth.

Early Thursday morning Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rebuked Trump’s statement in a tweet affirming that there will be a peaceful transition of power. That same evening, a resolution introduced by Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) passed unanimously, which affirms “the Senate’s commitment to the orderly and peaceful transfer of power called for in the Constitution of the United States,” noting that a “disruption” in the transfer of executive power “could produce results detrimental to the safety and well-being of the United States.” However, such a resolution is largely figurative and may lack statuary power if Trump still refuses to recognize the result of the election.

Although the resolution sent a clear message that he is crossing a red line that even his supporters in the Senate will not accept, it is critical that every political body, institution, think tank, and media outlet that stands for democracy comes out immediately with a clear, decisive, and unambiguous statement condemning Trump’s assertion to send him a message that what he said is tantamount to treason and that he will face the direst consequences.

In fact, even during the presidential debates in 2016, Trump repeatedly stated that he would not accept the results of the election unless he won. There should be no reason at this point, now that he is president, not to take him at his word. The media in general should hammer this point day in and day out now until the transfer of power on January 20, 2021.

The House of Representatives must follow the Senate’s lead and pass immediately a resolution, warning Trump of the ominous consequences he and the country will face if he does not adhere to the constitutional process and vacate his office peacefully. Beyond Congress, every Republican in any official capacity must immediately issue a statement condemning in the strongest terms Trump’s clear refusal to commit to a peaceful transition of power should he lose in November. Such a statement must be unmistakable, and leave no room for any doubt.

Opinion writers who value the importance of a peaceful transition of power and the critical importance of free and fair elections and the adherence to their results should immediately write a column, whether for their media outlet or at a minimum on social media, condemning in the strongest words what Trump has said.

Vice President Biden should raise Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power during next week’s debate. Biden must demand a clear and explicit commitment from Trump in front of the nearly 100 million Americans who will be watching that he will adhere to a peaceful transition of power and will not contest the results.

Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, should reiterate his statements from July and August that the military will not intervene under any circumstances in a political matter, whether protecting Trump from being removed from the White House should he lose and refuse to leave, or physically removing him in the same situation. For good reason, Trump’s physical removal from the White House should be left to US Marshals.

Every civil society organization ought to issue a warning that the American people will not stand for anything less than a peaceful transfer of power and that they will promote nation-wide civil disobedience in the absence of such transition. In conjunction, many labor unions, such as the AFL-CIO, UAW, and American Federation of Teachers, should issue a similar statement that a nation-wide strike will occur.

Constitutional experts from all over the country should sign a joint letter to state that refusing a peaceful transfer of power is clearly in contrast to what the Constitution is all about, and condemn Trump’s words in the strongest terms.

Although he has already pledged to push through a hearing, if Mitch McConnell has an ounce of integrity left, he should now refuse to initiate a confirmation hearing of any Supreme Court nominee, which Trump vowed to submit within days. Trump, who has gone on a rampage to delegitimize the result of the election for months, made it clear that should he lose the Supreme Court will have to adjudicate and render the final decision.

This is why he is rushing to nominate another Republican Supreme Court Justice, hoping that he or she will vote in his favor. The Democrats should hammer home and remind McConnell of his actions in 2016 when he refused to even meet with Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland, let alone hold confirmation hearings. To continue with Trump’s plan will only demonstrate McConnell’s hypocrisy, which may destroy the Republican Party in the process.

Four years of political turmoil under Trump may well end with massive violence akin to a civil war. Trump is priming his base to act violently, and with over 390 million firearms in the hands of Americans, one can only imagine the calamitous consequences if violence is to erupt between his supporters and those who oppose him.

The Republican leadership in every state and every municipality are the prime body that can stop this potential calamity from occurring. Time is of the essence. Should the Republican Party as a whole fall short of taking a stand against Trump at this juncture, they will subject the nation to turmoil unseen since the Civil War. Not a single Republican leader will be able to claim that he or she was not warned.
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Dr. Alon Ben-Meir is a professor of international relations at the Center for Global Affairs at NYU. He teaches courses on international negotiation and Middle Eastern studies.

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Gen. Ndayishimiye, Tshisekedi Agree To Eradicate Insurgents In Region

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The President of Burundi Gen. Evariste Ndayishimiye flew to Kinshasha for political and diplomatic consultations according to his office.

Gen. Ndayishimiye was received by his host President Felix Tshisekedi at Palais de la Nation. The two heads of state had a one-to-one meeting lasting over an hour.

According to a joint statement the Burundian and Congolese heads of state spoke of the need to strengthen peace and security in the sub-region during their talks.

“The two heads of state decided to activate with determination the concerted mechanisms aimed at eradicating the armed groups operating on Congolese territory,” the statement said, while indicating that they are committed to closely monitoring issues relating to security on the borders of the two neighbouring countries.

Gen. Ndayishimiye and Tshisekedi want to strengthen regional and sub-regional organizations for the consolidation of peace, security, stability and sustainable development.

They call on the international community to invest in the peaceful resolution of the security and humanitarian crises in the region and in other conflict zones in Africa.

Apart from the security issue, the two heads of state discussed economic development projects.

They highlighted the construction projects of bridges for vehicles and for pedestrians between the provinces of South Kivu in the DRC and in Cibitoke in Burundi on the Rusizi river, the agricultural exploitation in the Rusizi plain as well as the electrification of the Bujumbura-Uvira-Bukavu-Goma road.

Within the framework of the same visit, the delegations of the two countries signed the agreements and memoranda aiming at “the revival and the consolidation of the cooperation”.

It also covers agreements and memoranda relating to the construction of a Gitega-Uvira-Kindu railway, trade, peacekeeping, defense and security as well as political and diplomatic consultation.

In their meeting, the two heads of state noted a low level of implementation of existing agreements and consequently reframed “the strategy of revitalizing work”.

On regional integration, President Ndayishimiye expressed “unwavering” support for the DRC’s candidacy for membership in the East African Community.

On the other hand, President Tshisekedi reiterates his “unconditional” support for Burundi’s candidacy for the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Note that the visit of Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye to the Democratic Republic of Congo began on July 12 and ended on Wednesday July 14, 2021.

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Youths’ Understanding, Participation In DRM Processes Can Create A Sense Of Responsibility

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In my first years as a young law student at the University, despite my constant eagerness to read and thirst for information, I was never interested in the national budget and taxation.

This was largely not my fault because these two concepts are largely packaged as a complex discussion for economists at a high level.

However, towards my last year at the University, I attended an EAC students debate on Tax justice which completely dismantled the complexity surrounding taxation and that was the beginning of my work as a Tax justice champion.

However, this article is not about me; but instead, it is about the majority of the youths who are yet to be part of the important discussions around taxation, national budget and Domestic resource mobilization.

Agenda 2063 of the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) identify young people’s role in Africa as vibrant and crucial. Envisioning a stable and prosperous Africa is the responsibility of young Africans, who account for more than 50% of the current African population.

If the youths are to lead the continent; their voices should be heard and acknowledged, that will prepare the youth to be the custodians of African centered solutions to Africa’s problems.

This makes it crucial to educate youths on key concepts of public finance management which affect the continent most notably; domestic resource mobilization.

Some organisations have been working to educate youth on Domestic Resource Mobilisation but I will use an example of Youth For Tax Justice Network (YTJN) because it is a youth-led network and the first of its kind with presence in more than 7 countries in East and Southern Africa.

YTJN has been promoting youth participation in progressive tax systems and providing a platform for youth to discuss national budgets and domestic resource mobilization among others.

This has been done through students debates, essay competitions, capacity building for specific groups including members of National Youth Councils, youth representatives of political parties and youths from Civil Society Organisations.

Like the activities of YTJN, this article intends to impart a great deal of desire among the youths to learn and participate in DRM processes. The more youths understand and participate in DRM processes, the more they will understand their role in development.

Rwanda has a young population, which has the potential to influence policy change and good governance in the region.

Promotion of youth participation in all spheres of life in society and in decision-making processes at all levels can benefit both young people and the decision-making bodies including the Government.

Moreover, involving young people in decision-making processes strengthens their understanding of issues at stake as well as their sense of responsibility towards being part of the solution.

It is therefore important to engage young people on matters of public finance management with a focus on tax justice, especially as they come into their own as members of society able to participate in communal decision-making processes.

Editor: Views expressed in the article are not necessarily those of Taarifa’s.

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On Rwanda-France Relations

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President Kagame and the people of Rwanda have done their part in showing the World (though most of what was already known) that France aided the genocide against the Tutsi by providing military trainings, weapons, financial aid and all forms of assistance, including advocacy to the United Nations, to a genocidal regime just to advance French influence in Rwanda and Africa.

Since 1994, French leaders have denied their country’s role in the genocide and limited it to “assistance-under-ignorance,” arguing that they weren’t informed a genocide was being planned and would be implemented to exterminate the Tutsi.

Many people, in Rwanda and the World, are pleased with President Macron’s decision to acknowledge, though partially, his country’s role in the atrocities that befell the Tutsi.

I, like many others, would want to consider such a move by the French leader a heroic act. However, considering that Macron and France, in general, could be doing this for geopolitical gains, I am yet to have a feel-of-appreciation for Macron.

Aware that France is trying to build a French influence over Uganda and that France’s relations with the Francophone West Africa are already sour as nations held captive to this former colonial master in economic and security affairs have started raising their concerns about the implications of such captivity and most of them have taken a strong stand against it, which is a loss for France, I would like to hold back my praises for President Macron.

I’m also aware that France has, for so long, been responsible for a series of regime changes in numerous nations in the West and Central of Africa, not forgetting its role in what became the fate of Gaddafi and Libya.

So, as France is working hard to strengthen relations with Uganda, Rwanda and other nations, the masses in Francophone West Africa are already standing up against their countries’ financial ties to France, which Dr. Arikana Chihombori calls the “Pact for the Continuation of Colonization.”

A meticulous geopolitical analysis would reveal that France stands to lose a large share of its Francophone West African influence as people raise France’s activities in different countries in the West of Africa. This, and not benevolence, makes Macron act the way he is.

With knowledge of the above, a number of questions come to my mind;

Is France’s Macron remorseful for his country’s role in the genocide? 

Is he personally determined to get things right which his predecessors got wrong?

In my opinion, he is not. Being the progressive he seems to be, and being a true European, appreciating of the place Europeans have in World affairs, he is determined to play his cards right to keep his country’s influence in Africa tact.

But, why should he consider being at good terms with Rwanda if he is interested in other countries? In my opinion, Rwanda serves as the worst example of French activities in Africa as Namibia serves a worst example for German activities in Africa. Geopolitically, improving relations with Rwanda helps France reposition its image in Africa, and Macron’s France, at least, and from the periphery, will be considered a partner that understands peculiar national priorities and interests and seeks respectful and mutual (win-win) relations and not the old France that imposed terms that governments were to follow or be overthrown. 

If France and Macron were really intending to accept their role in the genocide against the Tutsi and be accountable for their role, reparations, extraditing genocide perpetrators who have found a safe haven in France would, inter alia, be on the table. But (as if to justify my suppositions), France is offering to give Rwanda financial aid in hundreds of millions of Euros and rich Frenchmen and women have, already, started receiving special support to help them exploit investment opportunities in Rwanda.

In the short run; therefore, Rwanda is winning as the new relations with Macron help expose, beyond doubt, France’s role in the genocide. On a politico-economic standpoint; however, France is winning bigger.

The author is a political commentator and critic. His views do not reflect those of Taarifa’s editorial line.

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