Coups that have shaken Africa in the last few years

Africa has witnessed eight coups in the last three years, with the latest military takeover announced in Gabon early Wednesday, only a month after a military intervention in Niger ousted the president.

Senior military officers in Gabon staged a coup in the Central African country on Wednesday, saying they seized power after President Ali Bongo was declared winner in Saturday’s election for a third term in office.

Appearing on national television, the military canceled the election results that declared Bongo, who has been in power for over a decade, the winner with 64.27% of the votes.

They also announced that the 64-year-old leader was put under house arrest and one of his sons was arrested for “treason.”


On July 26, military officers in Niger led by Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, a former commander of the presidential guard, carried out a military intervention, ousting President Mohamed Bazoum. The military has since held Bazoum hostage despite international calls for his release.


The military in Sudan ousted President Omar al-Bashir on April 11, 2019, after months of protests following increased prices of goods – including fuel and bread. Al-Bashir had ruled Sudan for nearly 30 years.

A power-sharing agreement was reached between the army and civilians, but they later refused to hand over power.

On Oct. 25, 2021, Sudan experienced another military takeover when Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who headed the power-sharing deal, seized power, sighting infighting between military and civilians.

Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea, Chad

In Burkina Faso, the army ousted and detained President Roch Kabore on Jan. 23, 2022, leading to two other coups.

In neighboring Mali, the military over threw President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, 75, before the country witnessed a second coup on May 24, 2021, when Col. Assimi Goita dismissed the transitional civilian president and prime minister.

There was also a military coup in Guinea on Sept. 5, 2021, when the army overthrew President Alpha Conde. In April 2021, the Chadian army installed Gen. Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno as interim president after the death of his father, Idriss Deby. The opposition said the move was tantamount to a coup.

Sultan Kakuba, a political science professor at Kyambogo University in Uganda, told Anadolu in a recent interview that military coups had been common in Africa for many years after independence, but they became increasingly rare in the past two decades.

He said poor leadership and economic hardships in some countries have influenced military leaders to seize power.

Kakuba opined that Africa has been consolidating democracy but the coups are pushing it behind.

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