Association for Free Research and International Cooperation

Coup d’états which have marked the African countries in recent times

02.04.2019
Article from AFRIC Editorial
The quest for reforms and change of regime on the African continent have affected so many things in both the social, economic and most especially the political spheres. Since the day many African countries became independent, some of these countries have not witnessed a regime change. It is very common in Africa to see a president that has ruled for over thirty years, the reason why most African presidents are often referred to as independence leaders. With revolution that is inevitable, Africans have sought for change especially in the political circles. To that effect, the continent has witnessed a number of coups or attempted coups to effect change. In most cases, coup d’états come as a result of bad or corrupt governments or authoritarian regimes. However, political infighting and the quest for power are some of the reasons some countries have witnessed coup attempts. A series of coups and attempted coup d’états have characterized the African continent. Talking about Africa and coup attempts is really a cumbersome thing to do, however, this report will accentuate on few countries which have experienced coup attempts.

The Egyptian 2011 revolution

Talking about the history of Egypt without mentioning the events that marked the country from the years 2011 to 2014, would be a gross violation of justice.  In 2011,  then head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) Mohamed Hussein Tantawi championed a revolution or coup d’état that terminated the rule of then-president Hosni Mubarak on February 11, 2011. Mubarak ruled as the President of Egypt for thirty years. Mubarak didn’t walk free after being deposed, he was found guilty for failing to contain the 2011 uprising that killed hundreds of anti-government protesters during the Arab spring. He was later released in 2017, after being cleared of the charges against him.

Tantawi then became the ruler of the North African Nation from 2011 to 2012. The 2012 presidential elections in Egypt, the second to hold with more than one contender (last elections conducted in 2005) gave birth to the reign of first Islamist leader Mohammed Morsi. On June 30, 2012, Morsi, head of the Muslim Brotherhood was inaugurated as the president of Egypt. Unfortunately, Egypt’s fifth president Morsi could only rule for a year. His reign met with so much resistance from protesters who called for his departure. With the assistance of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, then-Defence Minister and head of the Armed Forces, Mohammed Morsi’s leadership culminated On July 3rd, 2013. Then President Morsi suffered the same fate as his predecessor Hosni Mubarak. Morsi together with some of his supporters were arrested and jailed for several offences. Morsi faced espionage charges, he is accused of releasing confidential information to Qatar. In 2014, Army chief Abdel Fattah AL-sis became the sixth president of Egypt. Till date, he remains at the helm of the country’s presidential affairs.

  Attempted coup d’état in Madagascar

The island nation Madagascar also witnessed a coup attempt in the year 2010. On November 17 and 18, 2010, ex-Defence Minister N. Rakotonandrasanana and Colonel C. Andrianasoaviana, Head of the Special Intervention Force masterminded a complot to unseat Andry Rajoelina, then head of the Malagasy high Transitional Authority.   It all remained an attempted coup d’état as Andry Rajoelina was able to contain to the plot. It should be noted that Rajoelina is the incumbent president of Madagascar. He was elected into office in 2018.

Burkina Faso coup attempt

Burkina Faso has suffered and survived two coup attempts on two of its Presidents. On September 17, 2015, General Gilbert Diendéré tried to forcibly seize power from then-President Michel Kafando. The move, however, failed to yield positive fruits as the Army intervened in favour of the president and his subordinates. The Regiment of Presidential Security RPS, the brain behind the coup attempt was later dissolved.  Note that the Regiment of Presidency security was an autonomous entity from the Burkinabe Army, it oversaw very confidential and VIP Security Services to the President. Just a year after the Coup attempt on Kafando, President Roch Marc Christian Kabore in 2016 contained an attempted coup on his government by Gaston Coulibaly, a non commissioned officer NCO of the ex-regiment of the presidential security.

Attempted coup d’état in Gabon

The most recent coup attempts in Africa occurred in the central African nation of Gabon. January 7, 2019, Military officers led by Lieutenant Kelly Ondo Obiang took hold of Gabon’s national radio and television, proclaiming the creation of a ‘’restoration Council’’. The aim was to unseat ailing President Ali Bongo Ondimba who had sought medical attention in Morocco. The army argued that President Ali Bongo was no longer fit to rule a nation given his health status. Bongo’s public appearance on New Year day to address the nation, instead pushed Gabonese especially the opposition to question his ability to discharge in his functions as the President. However, the coup attempt was able to be quelled by Bongo loyalists and the perpetrators arrested. Till date, controversy still surrounds President Bongo’s leadership.

As earlier stated in the preamble, the history of coups in Africa can never be exhausted. Notwithstanding, some successful coups have been able to bring an end to some authoritarian regimes or long-serving leaders, the case of Egypt with the fall of Hosni Mubarak, however, others have instead succeeded in creating disorder and  instability in the quest of wanting to seize power. Some nations have never been the same after a coup attempt. When trust is lost, everyone becomes suspicious.

Article from AFRIC Editorial

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