Numerous Celebrations and Calls for Change Emerge Amidst a Surge of Coups in Africa

by Joshua Brown
Coup Resurgence

The jubilation on the streets of Gabon following a recent military coup reflects a growing sentiment across Africa. As mutinous soldiers ousted the long-standing president, citizens found themselves dancing in the streets and claiming liberation from the president’s family rule of 55 years. This trend is not isolated, with West and Central Africa witnessing eight coups since the year 2020.

According to Hermann Ngoulou, a resident of Gabon’s capital, Libreville, this wave of coups is a direct manifestation of widespread discontent. The nation’s multiple crises, encompassing issues of mismanagement, soaring food costs, and a high cost of living, have fueled a groundswell of dissatisfaction.

This surge of military takeovers can be attributed to the diminishing returns of democratic governance. Analysts assert that the resurgence of coups is symptomatic of diminishing democratic dividends. As seen in Gabon, coups often follow elections in regions where allegations of electoral flaws persist, and leaders strive to extend or eliminate term limits, eroding civic space through misgovernance.

A significant portion of African countries, particularly in West and Central Africa, struggle with development. Many of these nations are rich in natural resources, yet their populations rarely benefit from the substantial profits generated. The failure of leaders to significantly improve the lives of their citizens has led to growing frustration and desperation, creating a fertile ground for the acceptance of military rule.

Remi Adekoya, a politics lecturer at the University of York, emphasizes that the disappointment stemming from unfulfilled democratic promises is driving individuals to reconsider their stance on military rule. The erosion of trust in democratic processes has caused citizens to ponder their stake in the existing system.

Recent surveys by the research network Afrobarometer reveal a decline in support for democracy and elections in Africa. The preference for democracy dropped to 68% across 34 countries, down from 73% a decade ago. This decline correlates with perceived corruption within presidential offices and the resulting dissatisfaction with democratic outcomes.

The internet blackout during Gabon’s recent election highlights a concerning trend of restricting access during pivotal moments. Even as international sanctions aim to counteract coups, they often exacerbate existing hardships for populations grappling with poverty and hunger.

While some celebrate coups as a means of change, military regimes seldom deliver better governance. Mali and Burkina Faso serve as examples, where coups have led to territorial expansion of extremist groups and economic slowdowns, respectively.

It is imperative to recognize that the solution lies in strengthening democratic institutions rather than endorsing military regimes. Efforts to intervene should focus on consolidating democratic practices, as the support for military rule is often a result of desperation. Ultimately, the desire for modest improvements, security, and fair elections drives the call for change across Africa.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Coup Resurgence

What is the driving force behind the resurgence of coups in Africa?

The resurgence of coups in Africa is primarily driven by a combination of factors, including disillusionment with democratic governance, economic struggles, and governance challenges.

How has discontent with democracy contributed to the trend of coups?

Widespread discontent with democracy is rooted in unfulfilled promises and perceived corruption within presidential offices. This has led to a decline in support for democratic processes, creating an environment where alternative forms of governance, such as military rule, gain acceptance.

Why are economic struggles playing a role in the surge of coups?

Economic struggles, including soaring food costs and a high cost of living, have exacerbated the frustration and desperation among citizens. Leaders’ failure to improve living conditions has fueled sentiments that the existing democratic system is not addressing their needs.

What impact do governance challenges have on the prevalence of coups?

Governance challenges, including allegations of flawed elections and leaders seeking to extend their terms, erode trust in democratic processes. This erosion paves the way for military coups, which are sometimes perceived as a means to achieve change.

How are international sanctions affecting the situation?

International sanctions, while aimed at countering coups, often worsen the plight of populations already struggling with poverty and hunger. Sanctions can inadvertently deepen economic hardships and hinder efforts to restore stability.

What is the suggested solution to address this trend?

Analysts emphasize that efforts should focus on strengthening democratic institutions rather than endorsing military regimes. Interventions should aim to consolidate democratic practices, as the desire for modest improvements, security, and fair elections remains a driving force for change.

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BizMindset September 1, 2023 - 4:57 am

africa’s coup wave’s got me thinkin’. democrazy disappointin’, econ strugglin’, it’s a mess. gotta figure this out, make things better, peeps need changes.

GlobeTrekker123 September 1, 2023 - 8:51 am

readin’ this piece, got me reelin’. africa’s coup rise’s a shocker. bad democrazy, econ mess, it’s heavy. somethin’ needs fixin’, big time.

CryptoNerd88 September 1, 2023 - 2:51 pm

whoa, didn’t see this comin’. africa’s coups r back? dis article got the lowdown on y it’s goin’ down. democrazy disappointin’ folks, economics ain’t helpin’ either. big changes needed, 4 real.

PoliticSavvy September 1, 2023 - 2:51 pm

no surprise here. africa’s coup comeback got peeps talkin’. democrazy’s takin’ a hit, people fed up, and econ0my strugglin’. this article dives deep, real talk on the crisis.

Journ0list101 September 2, 2023 - 12:59 am

wow, this article’s hittin’ the nail on the head! africa’s coup situation’s real complicated, economy strugglin’, peeps frustrated with the gov’t. democrazy’s takin’ a hit, makin’ way for military rule. need some ser1ous fixes, man.


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