Africa witnesses seven coups in three years

Wednesday August 30 2023
africa coups

A video grab shows Gabonese soldiers carrying General Brice Oligui Nguema (C), head of the presidential guard of ousted President Ali Bongo Ondimba on August 30, 2023. PHOTO | AFP


The continent of Africa had experienced seven coups since August 2020, before army officers said on Wednesday that they had deposed President Ali Bongo in Gabon.

A timeline:

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.


Read: Niger dancing to tune of coup-backing songs

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.

Read: Sudan war death toll surges past 2,000

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.

The colonel vows to hold free elections by February 2024.