Europe Helped Create West Africa’s Coup-Prone Militaries

A Dutch military instructor briefs Ivorian special forces soldiers during the annual U.S.-led Flintlock counterterrorism training exercise, near base camp Loumbila, Jacqueville, Cote d’Ivoire, Feb. 17, 2022 (AP photo by Sylvain Cherkaoui).
A Dutch military instructor briefs Ivorian special forces soldiers during the annual U.S.-led Flintlock counterterrorism training exercise, near base camp Loumbila, Jacqueville, Cote d’Ivoire, Feb. 17, 2022 (AP photo by Sylvain Cherkaoui).
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On a quiet Sunday morning in early September 2021, diplomats found themselves yanked away from their weekend plans as another military coup stunned West Africa. After reports on social media of shooting in the capital city of Conakry, news filtered out that a young army colonel had seized power in Guinea. Wearing the tactical clothing symbolizing his role as the commander of Guinea’s special operations forces, 42-year-old Col. Mamady Doumbouya declared that he would sweep away the authoritarian behavior and corruption that had marked the rule of the then-83-year-old President Alpha Conde. In the months that followed, it became increasingly clear […]

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