A series of military coups in the vast semi-arid Sahel region in West Africa has dealt. A severe blow to the region’s political stability and democratic transition, ushering in a new era of uncertainty and insecurity.
According to Arab News, the latest example of this in the region is the July 26 coup in Niger. Where the presidential guards overthrew the country’s elected president, Mohammed Bazoum.
This action by the elite force has been strongly condemn by the international community, including the African Union. And the Economic Community of West African States.
Various sanctions have been impose against the new ruling party, headed by General Abdulrahmane Tayani. But hopes of restoring Bazoom’s rule are fading with each passing day.
The uprising has raised many questions about democratic transitions in Africa and the pace of political movements in the region.
The troubling reality is that military coups in the African region have derailed the democratic progress. That many African countries have worked hard to achieve over the past decades.
Before the recent wave of military coups, the African continent seemed to be moving towards full civilian rule with democratic institutions and participatory systems.
The number of such coups in Africa has declined since 2000, but in 2020, the military seized power in Mali.
2021 has since seen a significant increase in military occupation. With coups and similar attempts in Chad, Guinea, Sudan, and Niger.
Similarly, in 2022, there were five coup attempts in the African region, two of which were successful in Burkina Faso.
The effects of these insurgencies in the region have spread beyond the borders of the affected countries. Creating a disturbing atmosphere across the continent.
The international community is now viewing these actions with dismay and concern as military interventions become more frequent. Raising doubts about the long-term stability of many African countries.
Experts say it’s important to understand the unique challenges facing African countries, especially in the Sahel region, which is reeling from the aftermath of the insurgency.
It is also important to address the root causes of instability in the African region, such as economic stagnation, political discontent, and historical legacy.
Experts say that a strong and stable strategy is need to restore democratic governance with regional and international cooperation and prevent future military intervention.
Nigeria-based analyst Gbenga Erin says recent uprisings in Africa have been executed by opportunistic military personnel who take advantage of the weaknesses of their nations’ weak institutions and marginalized human conditions.
Analysts say there is broad consensus across the continent that democracy offers the most favourable governance structure.
Yet the problems of terrorism, corruption, poor infrastructure, and socio-economic underdevelopment mean that large parts of the African population continue to face such deprivations.
Analysts say such challenges in the region have served as pretexts for coup plotters.