Coups In Niger, Gabon Stir Tension In Cameroon

After Niger, Gabon Coups who is next?

Following recent coups staged across the African continent, the question of which other nations might be vulnerable to a coup is becoming more and more inevitable.

On July 26, 2023, a coup d’état took place in Niger, during which the country’s presidential guard removed and detained President Mohamed Bazoum.

Similar to the Niger coup, shortly after the announcement that incumbent president Ali Bongo Ondimba had won the general election held on 26 August, Armed Forces of Gabon launched a pre-dawn coup on 30 August to control the nation.

Following both coups within the African continent in 2023, some country leaders with democratic institutions, fragile economies and politicised armed forces have started to feel the heat.

A glaring case is that of Cameroon, where President Paul Biya made major changes to the country’s ministry of defense less than 24 hours after the Gabon coup.

The 90-year-old who has been president since 1982 did reshuffle the delegation at the presidency in charge of defense, air force staff, navy and the police. Biya equally appointed a captain and two army colonels to head operations in the presidential guard and report directly to the presidency.

However, critics have said that this quick action gives the impression that the current administration is worried about their power, which might lead to further grievances and worse instability.

Elsewhere on the African continent, former one-party states that have never experienced military rule such as Kenya and Zambia seem relatively calm and safe.

Cameroon’s President Biya has been in power since 1982 and his reign has been plagued with the Anglophone crisis that has left morethan 7,000 people dead who are civilians, military and separatist fighters, at least 200 villages burnt down,  morethan 1 million people displaced with a recored of at least one person being killed daily in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon.

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