These 6 African Countries Have Witnessed 8 Military Coups Since 2020

On July 26, 2023, members of the presidential guard overthrow Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum, elected in 2021.

Paris: The turbulent continent of Africa has experienced eight coups since August 2020, after army officers in Gabon deposed President Ali Bongo Ondimba on Wednesday.

A timeline:

2023: Gabon

President Bongo, whose family has ruled Gabon for 55 years, is declared winner of an August 26 election the opposition says was fraudulent.

Moments later, army officers appear on national television to announce the dissolving of state institutions and the closure of the country’s borders.

Bongo is placed under house arrest and General Brice Oligui Nguema is named transitional president.

2023: Niger

On July 26, 2023, members of the presidential guard overthrow Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum, elected in 2021. General Abdourahamane Tiani, head of the presidential guard, takes over.

On August 10, the West African regional bloc ECOWAS approves the deployment of a standby force “to restore constitutional order”, but still seeks a diplomatic solution.

Niger’s new military ruler proposes a transition period of no more than three years to hand back power to civilians.

2022: Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso underwent two military coups last year.

In January 2022, mutinous soldiers led by Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba arrest President Roch Marc Christian Kabore.

On September 30, army officers announce that they have dismissed Damiba. Captain Ibrahim Traore becomes transitional president until a new presidential election planned for July 2024.

2021: Sudan

After weeks of tension between the military and civilian leaders who had shared power since the ousting of dictator Omar al-Bashir, the armed forces led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan stage a new coup on October 25.

On April 15, 2023, a war breaks out between Burhan and his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, killing at least 5,000.

2021: Guinea

In September, mutinous troops led by lieutenant-colonel Mamady Doumbouya take over in Guinea, arresting 83-year-old President Alpha Conde.

Doumbouya has pledged to return power to elected civilians by the end of 2024.

2020, 2021: Mali

Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita is overthrown in August 2020.

In May 2021, the Malian military takes over again after the civilian leaders of an interim government remove soldiers from some key posts.

Colonel Assimi Goita, who led both coups, has vowed to hold free elections by February 2024.

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