Burkina Faso coup: Return of the military strongmen to West Africa

Thursday - 27/01/2022 01:20
Following the military takeover in Burkina Faso, regional analyst Paul Melly considers why West Africa is seeing a new wave of coups after democracy had seemingly become entrenched in the region.
REUTERS | Some in Burkina Faso have welcomed the military takeover
REUTERS | Some in Burkina Faso have welcomed the military takeover

Less than five months after soldiers in fatigues appeared on national television in Guinea to announce that they had removed President Alpha Condé from office, the spectacle was repeated on Monday in Burkina Faso, as the military proclaimed the overthrow of head of state Roch Kaboré.

And that's not forgetting the double-putsch in Mali, where army officers deposed President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta in August 2020.

They promised the regional bloc Ecowas they would organise elections by next month, but in May 2021 they staged a second takeover to reassert control over the transition and later set out plans to stay in power for almost five more years.

Yet, West Africa was a region where constitutional multi-party civilian politics had become the norm.

Almost all countries were at least formally democratic, even if some elected presidents, once in office, twisted the rules to perpetuate their stay in power.

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Author: Editors Desk

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 Keywords: Burkina Faso

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