Everything you should know about the 200 coups that have taken place in Africa
The question is when will major state actors in Africa stop planning coup?
Since 1952, when Muhammad Naguib overthrew Farouk of Egypt to stage the first forceful seizure of power, the African continent has gone on to dislodge the West in a game was learnt from their books. Between 1960 and now, Africa has seen at least 200 successful and failed coups, some bloodles, others have led to the loss of thousands of lives.
Many political analysts have argued that the ingredients to stir coups are basic features of many African states. Some of these are corruption, bad governance, high level of citizen agitations and vast social inequality.
Except for the southern part of Africa, coups are a common attribute in the history of many African countries. For example, in Guinea-Bissau no president has completed a full term since the country’s independence in 1974.
Here are African countries and the number of coups that have taken place there.
Burkina Faso – 10
The Burkinabes have endured 10 coup d’etats between 1966 and 2017.
The last in the country happened on October 8, 2016, when Blaise Compaore loyalists and former presidential guards failed to overthrow President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré.
With the first coup January 3, 1966, there is hardly a decade without forceful seizure of power in the West African country. Between 1980 and 1989, the country experienced six different coup d’états.
Nigeria – 8
Just like Burkina Faso, Nigeria experienced four coup d’états within a period of ten years (1966-1975). The first shot was taken on January 15, 1966, and since then the practice has almost become a vicious cycle for the country’s military.
Between 1970 and 1996, there wass no administration or regime in the country that did not experience a coup, either successful or otherwise. In all, the country experienced two unsuccessful coups in its history, the first was by Buka Suka Dimka on February 13, 1976 and second on April 22, 1990 by Gideon Orkar.
Burundi – 6
Burundi is another African country that has witnessed a coup d’état in the last five years, albeit an unsuccessful one - led by General Godefroid Niyombare against President Pierre Nkurunziza between May 13 and 15, 2015.
For the country, the first and second happened within six months (July 8, 1966, and November 28, 1966).
Chad - 6
The desert nation of Chad has also experienced several coup d’états since its independence in August 1960. The country’s first coup happened on April 13, 1975, when François Tombalbaye was overthrown by Noël Milarew Odingar.
President Idriss Déby has also witnessed three unsuccessful coups against his government.
The first being on May 16, 2004, and the last on May 1, 2013.
Ghana - 6
Ghana, had its first president, Kwame Nkrumah, overthrown by a coup in 1966 led by General Joseph Arthur Ankrah. Between then and 1979, three coups were planned to change government, especially during the military regimes.
Flt Lt. Jerry John Rawlings Rtd, a former president of Ghana, executed two successive coups within three years (June 4, 1979, and December 31, 1981) to depose governments he adjudged to be corrupt.
Other countries with a high number of coups include Comoros (6), Mauritania (6) and Sudan (6).
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