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Why African Armies Staged Coups: A Shift in Power Dynamics

Coups in AfricaThe Role of Armies in Global Politics: A Shift in Power Dynamics

The primary role of armies across the world is to protect their nations. This has been demonstrated time and again, from the Russia-Ukraine war to Israel’s retaliation after terror attacks by Hamas. When nations are threatened, the military is the first to respond. Soldiers take it upon themselves to serve and protect, even if it means sacrificing their lives for the nation.

Coups in Africa

However, a new trend has emerged where armies are not just serving their governments, but are overthrowing political leaders in a Coup.

Coups in Africa

This phenomenon has become particularly frequent in Africa, where the military has taken over in Gabon and Niger, and has been welcomed by civilians with open arms. Since 2020, there have been 7 successful coups in Africa, starting with Mali, then Sudan, Chad, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Gabon, and Niger.

Coups in Africa

The Sahel Region: A Hotbed of Coups

One commonality among these nations is their geographical location in Western Africa, in a region called the Sahel, sandwiched between the dry Sahara Desert to the north and the lush savannah to the south.

Coups in Africa

All of these nations share a history of being colonized by 1 European power: France. Coups in Africa

Despite gaining independence, France continued to maintain its presence in West Africa, forming the Sahel Alliance in 2017 to fight Islamic terrorism in the region. However, within three years, the African members of the Sahel Alliance saw political turmoil as anti-colonial and anti-France sentiments grew.Coups in Africa

The Rise of Military Power

The armies in these countries took matters into their own hands, overthrowing civilian governments that overtly favored France and the West.Coups in Africa Presidents were put under house arrest and imprisoned, and the crowds loved it. Military officers were celebrated with grand rallies, carried on shoulders, and paraded through the streets. Coups in Africa

As coups hit Gabon and Niger, France, Western nations, and a group called the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sanctioned the military juntas responsible for the coups.

Coups in Africa

This ignited anti-France and anti-west sentiment even more, leading to the French army being forced out of Niger.

Coups in Africa

Coups in Africa

Russia: A New Ally

In the midst of this political upheaval, Russia has emerged as a new ally for these African nations.

Coups in Africa

Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted a dialogue with African nations in St Petersburg, and his posters and banners can be seen at every anti-France rally. West Africans see Putin as a leader who stands up to the West, and Russia gains a lot from this popularity.

Coups in Africa

Putin has sent his Wagner troops to provide security in the region, and in return, Russia gets to explore the Sahel region for diamonds, gold, and other rare minerals.

Coups in Africa

 

The Future of Sahel

The question remains whether the armies in the region are hungry for power or genuinely care about their nation’s future. Regardless, they control the corridors of power now, and people have given them their full support.

Coups in AfricaCoups in Africa

The Sahel region is kicking out Western powers and welcoming Russia, marking a significant shift in the global power dynamics. The world is going through the process of a new world order, and Africa is playing one of the most important roles in this geopolitical chess match. Coups in AfricaCoups in Africa

 

 

 

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