TIMELINE: List of coups, coup attempts in Africa since 2015
Coups are not new to Africa. A reported coup attempt ongoing at Niger Republic has sparked fear.
Niger Republic President, Mohamed Bazoum was democratically elected in 2021. The country’s last coup occurred in February 2010, overthrowing then president Mamadou Tandja.
Between 2015 and 2019, there was only one successful but controversial coup across the continent..
A coup is an illegal and overt attempt by the military – or other civilian officials – to unseat sitting leaders.
A look at the history of coups in West Africa suggests some recurring themes as causes.
Nigeria had a reputation for military coups in the years following independence with eight between January 1966 and the takeover by Gen Sani Abacha in 1993.
Burundi’s history has been marked by eleven separate coups, mostly driven by the tensions between the Hutu and Tutsi communities.
Sierra Leone experienced three coups between 1967 and 1968, and another one in 1971. Between 1992 and 1997, it experienced five further coup attempts.
Ghana has also had its share of military coups, with eight in two decades. The first was in 1966, when Kwame Nkrumah was removed from power, and in the following year there was an unsuccessful attempt by junior army officers.