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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres once referred to the phenomenon in 2021 as an epidemic of coup d’etats.
This was after four coups took place in Africa last year, including Mali, Chad, Guinea and Sudan.
Barely a month into the new year, Burkina Faso has also joined the ranks of African countries that have witnessed the military overthrow of governments, with the country’s armed forces confirming to have seized power on Monday.
International Law expert, Professor Hennie Strydom who is from the University of Johannesburg says these kinds of problems will persist in Africa unless we look at the root causes for coup d’etats in Africa and other instances of political tension and military interventions.
“I think Burkina Faso is one the latest examples of this. We are dealing with countries with a history of political tension, dissatisfaction, weak government institutions, poor service delivery, and many of them are situated in regions of Africa where we have unrest, where we have terrorist activities, organised crime, weak border controls and all kinds of activities that destabilize these countries.”
Strydom adds: “I think Burkina Faso unfortunately is one of those countries apart from its internal and domestic problems it also has to deal with other problems on its borders. I think this might be one of the outcomes of the situation that cannot be tolerated and I think institutions like the African Union and others like ECOWAS should look at this in a hard way and think about the consequences for the regions in which these countries are situated.”