A throwback to the past: Why so many African states are experiencing military coups

There have been at least five coups in the past few months across several countries in Africa and conditions are ripe for more, reports Portia Crowe

Tuesday 01 February 2022 18:01
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<p>Young demonstrators hold a banner calling for a ‘Brexit’ from the Economic Community of West African States during a mass demonstration to protest against sanctions imposed on Mali </p>

Young demonstrators hold a banner calling for a ‘Brexit’ from the Economic Community of West African States during a mass demonstration to protest against sanctions imposed on Mali

On 20 April last year, a young man in a red beret and army fatigues appeared on Chad’s national television, flanked by military officers, as his spokesman declared he would be taking over as president. General Mahamat Déby’s father, President Idriss Déby, had died earlier that day, and rather than allowing the speaker of parliament to step in, as the law stipulated, he dissolved parliament and took the reins.

The following month, in Mali, an army spokesman informed the nation in a live broadcast that their civilian president and prime minister had been detained and the military officer Assimi Goïta would take charge. It was Mali’s second coup in nine months.

Similar scenes played out in Guinea in September, Sudan in October and, just last week, in Burkina Faso. On Tuesday, heavy gunfire reportedly rang out in the capital of Guinea-Bissau, in what could be yet another coup attempt.

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