Two coups in a week, Africa-style

Four military coups in two weeks from Guinea to Madagascar shows a resurgence of the events in early to mid-September in West Africa. The army’s methods differ. Some, like the coup in Guinea, involved…

Two coups in a week, Africa-style

Four military coups in two weeks from Guinea to Madagascar shows a resurgence of the events in early to mid-September in West Africa. The army’s methods differ. Some, like the coup in Guinea, involved political agitation. Others, like the coup in Madagascar, were coups, staged by political parties.

But there are important similarities between the two coups. Both are seen by some as an attempt to weaken the grip of democracy in Africa. The motives are different — a coup in Guinea was aimed at holding elections in a year’s time, while the one in Madagascar was aimed at forcing the President out of office. But the Congo-Brazzaville coup was aimed at weakening the unity of the Democratic Republic of Congo and all the same has implications for the stability of the country.

A coup is rare in Africa these days. As political commentator Bismark Rewane told WFP, “In Africa, we have not had that before.” Dr. Michael Wesley thinks it’s likely that in 2018, at least, a coup was staged somewhere. However, he concedes that there are many differing motives for coups and he cautions against over-estimating them. But two coups in two weeks is a very high-profile reminder of the risks — or the hope, depending on one’s view.

Leave a Comment