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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