A decade of African coups

A man sitting on his motorcycle gestures as people gather at Nation square to support military in Ouagadougou on January 24, 2022. PHOTO/AFP

What you need to know:

  • In Burkina Faso, the Sahel state's army announced a takeover, ousting President Roch Marc Christian Kabore, who was first elected in 2015 but faced rising anger over his inability to stop a brutal jihadist conflict. 

The military power grab in Burkina Faso appears to be the latest in a series of coups across Africa over the last decade:

Burkina Faso, 2022 

Mutinous soldiers arrest President Roch Marc Christian Kabore Monday a day after soldiers at several army barracks in the capital revolt at the handling of jihadist attacks on the troubled West African nation. 

It is the seventh coup since the country's independence from France in 1960.

Sudan, 2021

After weeks of tension between military and civilian leaders who have shared power in Sudan since the ousting of dictator Omar al-Bashir two years ago, the armed forces stage a coup on October 25 and arrest Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

But protests later force them to reinstate him before he resigns on January 2, 2022, with no let-up in pro-democracy demonstrations against the military.

Guinea, 2021 

Elite troops led by lieutenant-colonel Mamady Doumbouya take over the impoverished West African state in September, arresting 83-year-old President Alpha Conde.

The veteran became Guinea's first democratically elected president in 2010 after spending years in jails at the hands of previous juntas. 

But last year he sparked fury by changing the constitution so he could run for a third term.

Mali, 2020, 2021 

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita is overthrown in August 2020 after several months of street protests in the troubled West African nation which is threatened by an Islamic insurgency.

Then in May 2021 the military takes over yet again after the civilian leaders of an interim government remove soldiers from some key posts.

Army strongman Colonel Assimi Goita survives an assassination attempt on July 20 at a Bamako mosque.

Under international pressure, the colonel vows to hold free elections by February.

Sudan, 2019 

Dictator Omar al-Bashir's 30 years in power are terminated by the army in April 2019 after a four-month street revolt when the price of bread triples.

More than 250 people die in the protests. A transition council of military and civil society leaders is formed in August 2019 but the military soon takes the upper hand.

Zimbabwe, 2017 

Robert Mugabe, who had led the country with an iron fist for the 37 years since independence, falls in 2017. 

He is ousted by the military and members of his own ZANU-PF party, who replace him with former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mugabe dies in Singapore two years later aged 95.

Burkina Faso, 2015

Less than a year after the fall of president Blaise Compaore after a popular revolt, Michel Kafando is overthrown as president in a coup led by his own presidential guard in 2015. 

Less than a week later Kafando is back in power after the coup leaders fail to gather support.

Central African Republic, 2013 

Rebels from a Muslim-dominated coalition called Seleka storm the capital Bangui in 2013 and oust Francois Bozize, a Christian who had seized power a decade earlier.

Seleka leader Michel Djotodia declares himself president.

The country descends into sectarian chaos pitting Seleka rebels against vigilante self-defence groups from the Christian and animist majority known as anti-Balaka.

Egypt, 2013

The military ousts Egypt's first democratically elected leader, the Islamist Mohamed Morsi, in 2013 after huge demonstrations against his one year in charge.

The general who led the bloody putsch, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, becomes president and begins a brutal crackdown on dissent that is still going on.

Guinea-Bissau, 2012 

Troops led by General Antonio Indjai oust interim president Raimundo Pereira and former prime minister Carlos Gomes Junior between two rounds of a presidential poll in 2012.

It is the fourth coup since independence from Portugal in 1974.