Two coups in two weeks leave four ex-Africa presidents dead

For nearly two decades, coups had largely disappeared from Africa. But since 2013, jostling for power has resumed, making coups and reversals on democratically elected leaders more commonplace.

On Feb. 6, a former president of Guinea-Bissau announced his second bid to take power from an elected president — only to be turned back in a military-backed coup the next day. Four days later, another elected former leader — Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso — was shot to death while boarding a private plane.

Guinea-Bissau: Its Legal Dilemma

In November 2014, Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo was elected president of Guinea-Bissau, and stood for reelection in 2016. In July 2017, he was arrested at the international airport in neighboring Senegal. He had been chosen by a special court to fight corruption among government officials. After several months of delays, charges were eventually dropped against him and, in October, he was extradited to Guinea-Bissau and released. His party accused him of attempting to overthrow the government and accused Senegal of not doing enough to protect him.

On Feb. 6, Francois Kalamata, who had accused Nhamadjo of planning to try him in Guinea-Bissau, announced his intention to become president once again. According to the plan, officials would set up a transition from one person to another in a nonviolent manner, thus guaranteeing the organization of elections next year. However, former army General Antonio Indjai, who was involved in helping the arrest of Nhamadjo and helped plot the coup against him, declared his intent to retain power and elected himself as the president of the transitional government.

For The Times and Bloomberg: Caitlin Doornbos and Emmanuel Kantaro

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