April 24, 2024

The African continent has become a hotbed of military coup d’états, a situation that has left many security analysts and Africans worried.

The latest military overthrow of Gabonese President, Ali Bongo Ondimba’s government by the Central African country’s soldiers brings the number of both successful attempted coup d’états in Africa to a frightening eight (8) between 2020 and 2023 alone.

Of all the eight military actions on the continent, the West African subregion experienced the most, with the recent one in Niger making the fourth. Central Africa had two, including the latest incident currently ongoing in Gabon, while Northern Africa had one.

Below is a list of coup d’états that hit the African continent between 2020 and 2023 in no particular order:

  1. In May 2021, the Malian Army led by Vice President Assimi Goïta captured President Bah N’daw, Prime Minister Moctar Ouane and Minister of Defence Souleymane Doucouré. The head of the junta announced that N’daw and Ouane were stripped of their powers and that new elections would be held in 2022. It was the country’s third coup d’état in ten years, following the 2012 and 2020 military takeovers.
  2. In the same year, soon after the death of the then-President of Chad, Idriss Deby, the military swiftly took over power. They immediately installed his 37-year-old son Mahamat, a military commander, as interim president. Security analysts described the development as a coup d’état. Then in October 2022, there was an attempted overthrow of General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, leading to the arrest and jailing of 11 people who were later pardoned.
  3. 3.On 31 March 2021, some military officers attempted a failed coup the day before Nigerien Mohamed Bazoum’s inauguration to stop him from entering office. Then, on July 26, the president was detained and power was taken under the direction of the nation’s presidential guard.
  4. Again, on 5 September 2021, after gunshots broke out in the nation’s capital, Conakry, President Alpha Condé was taken prisoner by the military. The leader of the special forces, Mamady Doumbouya announced the dissolution of the government and constitution in a broadcast that was televised on state television.
  5. On 25 October 2021, the Sudanese military, under the command of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, led a group of soldiers to seize power in the country. The military branch of the alliance, which was formed to help Sudan move from its autocratic past to a more democratic future, took complete control of the nation.
  6. In January 2022, Captain Ibrahim Traoré, the 34-year-old head of an artillery unit of the Armed Forces of Burkina Faso led a group of soldiers to seize power from President Blaise Compaore and his government.
  7. Finally, on August 30, 2023, a group of senior army officers seized power shortly after President Ali Bongo Ondimba was declared reelected by the country’s electoral management body.
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