Africa’s forgotten coups


COUP: A 30-year tradition in Africa

Blackouts, political rule by decree and cosmetic changes of government by decree are becoming familiar methods to rule often undemocratic regimes in some of Africa’s poorest countries.

The roots of coups in Africa date back to the 1980s, when the continent’s leaders also had to make a living. Many of the leaders did not even know their subjects had phones or went out to work.

Both leaders and the populations got caught up in the cash-strapped scramble to rule and that is, with certain notable exceptions, what continues.

The timing is not easy for the leaders.

Many are in cities; in some cases, in the capital Nairobi, and have little of any economic infrastructure to rely on. For now, their only security comes from the occasional random shooting by an ethnic group or herdsmen.


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