Now this is obviously a historic event with finally Mubarak stepping down. I am really relieved and congratulate the Egyptian people that their voice and prayers have been heard and hope that a peaceful and prosperous future following the idea and the spirit of the people comes into place.
But I remember very well a place where it does not! It reminds me of a story that I lived personally a few years ago in 2005 – when the dictator Eyadema died and left a vacuum of power. He had been a dictator for even longer than the Egyptian ruler – for 36 years, the second longest right after Castro in Cuba. People also went on the streets and demanded free elections. What had happened there?
About 8 hours after the dictator died, one of his about 100 children (Minister for Mines and something like Agriculture) took over power by swearing in the military on him and wanting to do “business as usual”.
When the population heard that he had died (from foreign sources), I saw them celebrate and dance – but ONLY FOR ABOUT 5 MINUTES, because the regime was still in place! Demonstrations were banned due to “mourning” but still took place. About thousands of people went to the streets each day despite the ban – and after a few days military started using life ammo. ABOUT 800 OF THEM DIED. In a country of only 4,5 Million people that is quite a lot!
After a lot of international pressure the son Faure Eyadéma stepped down and organized elections – which were rigged as usual! If before you had 10 chances to gamble – on 99.1- 99.9% of the votes – it turned out to be “only” 80% of the votes this time. The 6 opposition parties joined behind a single opposition candidate (after the desired one was not allowed to run for office due to being too long out of the country. He tried several times, but almost died on almost successful assassination attempts – oh wonder!). Even election supervisors from the United Nations were bribed!
I saw the demonstrations first hand, since I had to renew my visa these days. I was glad to wear opposition colours, since I am not sure what they might have done to me otherwise! I was right amongst them and was even ambushed by a mob once and only barely got out alive! Women were raped for not having the propaganda posters of the dictator’s son on their wall.
Germany was still supporting the opposition and France the dictatorship.
This was when we had to escape from country – a story which you can follow up here if you want.
Today, the dictatorship is still in place and the world did not even pay any attention. THERE IS STILL A LOT TO BE DONE FOR JUSTICE IN THIS WORLD.
I am just glad that my friends in Egypt are safe and hope for Togo to return to lawful rule some day… 🙁