The coup epidemic in Africa has reached record levels. In just five years there have been coups in Zimbabwe (2019), Guinea-Conakry (2021), Chad (2021), Mali (January and August 2021), Burkina Faso (January and September 2022) and Sudan (with one successful coup in the year 2019). , another in 2021 and a failed coup that culminated in civil war in April 2023), Niger (2023) and now Gabon.Eleven hits in five yearsand this is without considering several failed attempts in Guinea-Bissau or Niger and Gabon itself. The epidemic has turned into a pandemic and governance on the African continent is degenerating to unprecedented levels.
The variety of shots is also a point to consider. In Zimbabwe, a 2015 coup by the ruling Zanu-PF party succeeded in replacing the leadership of Robert Mugabe with current President Emmerson Mnangagwa. The coup took place in Gabon In the early hours of August 30, he sacked Ali Bongo after he had continued the dictatorship begun by his father in 1967 into 2009, while recent coups in Mali and Burkina Faso deposed two military juntas who came to power in the same way . In Niger, the democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum was deposed by the militarywhere the failed coup attempt in Sudan in April 2023 leads to a brawl between the same generals who took over the country in 2019. The most characteristic coup, however, occurred in Chad when President Mahamat Déby resorted to self-defense. Coup to stay in power after his father’s death.
In the coup attempts in some Sahel countries, Russian banners and banners for a partnership with the Wagner Group and Vladimir Putin were a trend; a dynamic not observed in Gabon, Zimbabwe, Chad or Sudan. A common denominator that would apply to a high number of hits would be: Yes, the succession of objectives that France will receive in its African relations since 2021. Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, three former French colonies, have severed ties with their former metropolis expulsion of ambassadors Gauls from their respective countries. Gabon was also a key ally of France on the continent, thanks to the Bongo dynasty, and while it’s too early to draw any conclusions, everything indicates that Ali Bongo’s ouster will continue Emmanuel Macron’s losing streak.
The immediate consequence of such political instability would be a serious degeneration of governance on the continent. Even in coups that have overthrown historic dictatorships, as was the case in Gabon, the entry of the military into government only trades one authoritarianism for another, while the rest exposes the democratic mechanisms that ensure a country’s proper functioning should. Each of the military juntas has announced a transition period of two to five years.without elections having taken place in any of the countries concerned.
The weakness of the regional organizations (with special mention of ECOWAS in West Africa, but also given the inaction of the African Union in the face of events) has been exposed. One has to imagine the situation in which the European Union would find itself if there were coups in Italy, Greece, Spain and Slovenia, without the organization being able to do anything to prevent drift. ECOWAS has been around for over a month threatened the putschists in Niger intervene militarily in the country to restore constitutional order, but the only thing observed since then is a growing division among member states over the use of force, which could draw the region into a full-blown war involving jihadism the great beneficiary.