Timeline of recent coups in Africa

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A group of military officers in Gabon announced on Wednesday they had seized power in the African nation, according to a televised address circulating on social media.

The announcement came minutes after Gabon’s election body announced incumbent President Ali Bongo had won a third term, extending his family’s half-century rule over the oil-rich Central African country of 2.3 million.

If successful, the coup would represent the 10th in west and central Africa since 2017.

Niger’s military took over the government in July, sending shockwaves through the region and drawing in countries with strategic interests in the region.

Here are highlights a timeline of coups in Africa in recent years.

2019 Sudanese coup d’état: On April 11, 2019, late in the afternoon, following mass demonstrations calling for his ouster, President Omar al-Bashir was deposed by the Sudanese Armed Forces. At that time, the army under the command of Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf overthrew the government and National Legislature and proclaimed a three-month state of emergency in the nation. This was followed by a two-year transitional period before an agreement was eventually reached.

2020 Malian coup d’état: On August 18, 2020, parts of the Malian Armed Forces initiated a mutiny, which was followed by a coup d’état. Several government officials were detained, including President Ibrahim Boubacar Keta, who resigned and dissolved the government. Following the 2012 coup, this was the country’s second coup in less than ten years.

2021 Malian coup d’état: On the evening of May 24, 2021, the Malian Army under the command of Vice President Assimi Gota seized President Bah N’daw, Prime Minister Moctar Ouane, and Minister of Defence Souleymane Doucouré. This was the nation’s third coup d’état in 10 years, following the military takeovers in 2012 and 2020, the latter of which occurred just nine months earlier.

2021 Tunisian self-coup: On July 25, 2021, the Hichem Mechichi government was overthrown by Tunisian President Kais Saied, who also suspended the Assembly of Representatives of the People and removed the immunity of its members. Described as a self-coup, the action followed a period of political unrest highlighted by a string of anti-Ennahda protests and the breakdown of Tunisia’s healthcare system in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

2021 Guinean coup d’état: Alpha Condé, the president of Guinea, was taken prisoner by the military on September 5, 2021. The leader of the special forces announced the dissolution of the government and constitution in a broadcast that was televised on state television by Mamady Doumbouya.

2021 Sudanese coup d’état: General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the Sudanese military staged a coup against the country’s government on October 25, 2021. Five top government officials, at least, were initially detained.

January 2022 Burkina Faso coup d’état: On January 23, 2022, Burkina Faso experienced a coup d’état. On January 24, the military made a television announcement that President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré had been removed from office.

September 2022 Burkina Faso coup d’état: On September 30, 2022, a coup d’état removed Interim President Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba from Burkina Faso due to his apparent failure to handle the nation’s Islamist insurgency. Just eight months earlier, a coup had brought Damiba to power. Captain Ibrahim Traoré assumed command in an acting capacity.

2023 Nigerien coup d’état: On July 26, 2023, the presidential guard of the Republic of the Niger detained President Mohamed Bazoum. Shortly after declaring the coup a success, presidential guard commander general Abdourahamane Tchiani assumed control of a new military junta.

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