It is no longer news that the Republic of Niger has been taken over by military leaders who toppled the democratically elected government led by President Mohamed Bazoum. The coup, which occurred on July 26, 2023, was led by soldiers belonging to the presidential guard. Following the president’s displacement, the presidential guard commander, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, proclaimed himself the leader of a new military junta.
This development has generated reactions and sanctions from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the African Union (AU), who have condemned the coup in its entirety. However, it is not the first of its kind in the West Africa region in recent times.
Despite the growth of democracy around the world, West African countries continue to suffer setbacks in their pursuit of total democracy in the region. In the last 4 years, no fewer than four out of the 16 countries in the region have been captured by military leaders who gained power through coup d’état.
Tribune Online takes a look at other countries under military rulership in the West Africa region.
Burkina Faso, a landlocked French-speaking West Africa country with its capital in Ouagadougou, currently has a Burkinabé military officer, Ibrahim Traoré, as the leader of the country. Traore, who was born in 1988, became the leader of the country in September 2022 after he led a coup d’etat which ousted interim president Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba from power.
The Republic of Guinea is a coastal country in West Africa, which is sometimes referred to as Guinea-Conakry, named after its capital Conakry. The civilian president of the country, Alpha Conde, was toppled on September 5, 2021, in a coup led by a member of the Guinean Special Forces Group and a former French legionnaire, Mamady Doumbouya. He was subsequently sworn in as the Interim president on October 1, 2021 and has been ruling the country since then.
The Republic of Mali is a landlocked country in West Africa with its capital and largest city in Bamako. The country is currently being ruled by the leader of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, Colonel Assimi Goïta. The 42-year-old military officer was part of the military force that seized power from former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta in the 2020 Malian coup d’état. He later dismissed the previous interim president, Bah Ndaw, in another coup in 2021.