Coups in West Africa must stop

Last month, when Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu assumed chairmanship of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), he had said coups will no longer be allowed in the West African region under his leadership as chairperson of the sub-regional bloc. Little did he know his words would be tested before the month ran out.

Between August 2020 and now, coups have occurred in four West African countries – Burkina Faso since January 2022, Guinea since September 2021, Mali since August 2020, and Niger since July 2023. Attempts in The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau were foiled. There have been other coups in Chad since April 2021 and Sudan since October 2021, countries close to Nigeria, including Chad which shares a border in the north.

ECOWAS, like the rest of the international community, had condemned these coups, with varying sanctions announced shortly after. But this has not dissuaded ambitious soldiers from continuing to try their luck.