As military coups d’état have rocked the basis of many states across the continent, Africa has been dealing with increased political unrest.
These unexpected events have sparked concern among regional leaders and the international community about the region’s stability and democratic government. As the global community closely monitors the developments, it is also crucial to investigate the underlying patterns and forces that are causing these coups as well as any potential repercussions for Africa’s future.
Niger (July, 2023)
The West African country is currently under military rule after presidential guards detained the elected president on Wednesday, last week and shortly after Army General Omar Tchiani declared himself the new ruler of the country. The country’s constitution was suspended, and all constitutional institutions were disbanded.
Although the coup has received condemnation on a global scale, the country’s army has stood their ground, saying that they are interested in ‘maintaining their beloved nation, which is hampered by both poor economic and social governance and the deterioration of our country’s security condition for which the leaders have not left a meaningful option for a route out of the problem.’
In recent developments, France has planned an evacuation exercise to withdraw their citizens from Niger. According to a statement, the evacuation for French and European nationals who want to leave will begin on Tuesday. Nothing more was disclosed.
Burkina Faso (January, 2022)
In January 2022, the military in Burkina Faso declared to have ousted President Roch Kaboré and seized control of the country. In Burkina Faso, the coup d’état was accomplished by forcing President Roch Marc Christian Kabore to retire, according to a statement from the trading bloc ECOWAS.
Despite criticism and concern from the international community, Burkina Faso’s Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba took over power from the elected president in January 2022. On September 30, 2022, Captain Ibrahim Traore led a revolution in Burkina Faso that overthrew the lieutenant from power.
In a recent development and response to the latest coup in Niger, in a joint statement, military-run Mali and Burkina Faso warned that they would regard any direct involvement in Niger by the international community as a “declaration of war.”
Sudan (October, 2021)
Earlier in October 2021, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan’s ruling council, declared a state of emergency throughout the nation and ordered the dissolution of the government and the transitional sovereign council. The declaration by the army commander came shortly after the military detained the country’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and a number of other senior government officials during at-night home raids.
Prime Minister Hamdok released a statement in captivity in which he branded the military’s actions a “complete coup d’etat” and urged the Sudanese people to peacefully defend their revolution. The coup in Sudan has since then threatened the political stability of the East African nation since 2021.
Guinea (September, 2021)
According to a report by CNBC, Conakry, the capital of Guinea, was rocked by gunfire on September 5, 2021. President Alpha Conde was overthrown by members of the nation’s special forces, who blamed corruption for their actions. In the process, the coup threw the mineral-rich country’s nearly ten years of political stability for a loop. The government was suspended, the constitution was dissolved, a curfew was imposed, and all borders were blocked by the coup leaders.
Since December 2010, President Alpha Condé has been in office. A wide range of human rights abuses have taken place under his administration, including restrictions on peaceful protests, the closing down of the Internet, the use of disproportionate force that resulted in the deaths and injuries of protestors, and numerous arbitrary detentions of opposition and civil society activists.
The military authorities were under pressure to present a plan that went beyond overthrowing the previous regime and to ensure investors that Guinea’s sizeable ore exports would not be reduced as a result of the widespread condemnation of the coup by world powers.
Chad (April, 2021)
The army appointed Idriss Déby’s son as interim president in April 2021 upon his death, with the help of a transitional military council. It was dubbed a “dynastic coup” by his detractors. There was unrest in the country following the deceased president’s son’s ascent to power.
The timeframe for holding free elections, which had been set for 18 months after the young junta commander and transitional president assumed office, has now been extended by an additional two years. After the passing of longstanding President Idriss Déby, the political transition in Chad was supposed to come to an end on October 20. Instead, opposition organizations and members of civil society demonstrated in the streets against the ongoing rejection of democracy—and then things got worse. The 20th of October is now known in Chad as “Black Thursday.”
Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, the president of Chad, is said to be leading mediation efforts in the current coup in Niger, meeting both the ousted president Mohammed Bazoum and coup leader General Tchiani.
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The recent streak of military coups across Africa has seen to threaten the not only the political stability of the region but also the economic progression of Africa.