The days of military takeovers seem to be returning to Africa after the continent recorded four separate coup d’états in just 13 months.
The development which has been mainly attributed to abuse of power by incumbent presidents has since taken place twice in Mali, Chad, and the latest in Guinea.
The recent, which led to the arrest of Guinean President Alpha Conde, is the last in recent months in West and Central Africa, previously known as a “coup belt”, raising concerns over a slide back to military rule in a region that had made strides towards multi-party democracy since the 1990s.
MALI, AUGUST 2020
Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita resigned and dissolved parliament on Aug. 18, 2020, hours after mutinying soldiers detained him at gunpoint.
Mali had seen months of protests against alleged corruption and worsening security, with calls for Keita to resign.
Bah Ndaw, a retired colonel and former defence minister, was sworn in as interim president in September 2020 and tasked with leading an 18-month transition to new elections.
Assimi Goita, one of the colonels who plotted Keita’s ouster, was appointed vice president.
CHAD, APRIL 2021
When Chad’s president Idriss Deby was killed while visiting troops fighting an insurgency the day after he was re-elected, his son, Mahamat Idriss Deby, quickly seized power as the head of a ruling military council.
Much of Chad’s opposition decried the younger Deby’s ascension as a coup, and urged a return to civilian rule. The junta’s leaders quickly branded him a transitional president and promised to hold elections within 18 months.
MALI, MAY 2021
Military officers detained the interim president, prime minister and defence minister on May 25, derailing a transition back to civilian rule that had been set up in the wake of the Aug. 2020 coup.
President Ndaw and his colleagues were taken to a military base outside the capital Bamako, hours after two members of the military lost their positions in a government reshuffle.
A week later, Mali’s constitutional court declared Goita, who plotted Ndaw’s ouster while serving as vice president, to be the new interim president.
Goita’s government maintains that Mali will hold free and fair elections in February 2022, in accordance with commitments made after Keita was overthrown.
GUINEA, SEPTEMBER 2021
Guinea capital Conakry woke up to heavy gunfire on Sunday Sept. 5. The fighting was mostly around the main administrative district of Kaloum where the presidential palace is located.
By mid-afternoon, videos began circulating on various social media platforms, showing President Alpha Conde in the company of special forces soldiers.
The head of the army unit Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, later appeared on state television stating that “poverty and endemic corruption” had driven his forces to remove Conde from office.
In September 2019, Ghanaian security forces arrested some persons believed to be coup plotters after their plans to target the presidency were foiled.
According to a statement released by the government, the said plot had “the ultimate aim of destabilising the country”.
It added that the group were aiming to recruit and radicalise a base of young people.
A stash of weapons and ammunition was found following 15 months of surveillance.
This included six pistols, three smoke grenades, 22 IEDs, two AK47 magazines and one long knife.
Computer equipment, a voice recorder and a Ghanaian passport were also among the list of items seized.
The alleged coup plotters, one of whom is a doctor, had started procuring weapons and improvised explosive devices.
The government also accused military personnel of plotting to obtain weapons.
Source: NewsWire GH