The Sahel region a Semi-arid belt of land south of the Sahara desert has experienced a series of coups. Since 2020 there have been 6 successful Coup attempts in Mai, Burkina Faso, Niger, Guinea, and Chad, all the countries are Francophone countries, at one point in time they were French Colonies. There are numerous reasons why coups keep taking place in countries situated on the Sahel belt. To start with these countries are the former colonies of France who due to the colonial practices in the past and neo-colonial practices in the present have deprived the country of its resources, most of the former colonies of France were stipulated to give 50% of all the natural resources extracted from the country, be it timber, Uranium, precious gems or minerals such as Iron, Copper or Zinc. Due to this policy, Francophone countries lost revenue that could be invested in nation-building, they acted like the Vassal states of France. This policy also gave rise to corruption indirectly supported by France. Another reason why Coups regularly take place in the region is due to the ongoing Jihadis insurgency which has spilled over to neighboring countries, the existence of insurgency serves as a reminder to the people that the current democratic Institutions are not strong and are incapable of tackling problems and provide for the people of the country. Using this the military junta can justify and legitimize their rule and has garnered wide support across the spectrum. Additionally, Poverty and the dire economic condition of the countries in the Sahel belt due to modern-day exploitative practices of French companies have angered the local population and have allowed military rulers to improve their current situation and grow the nation.
Impact of Military Coups
The Francophone countries have become the latest playground for the former and current world powers such as the United States of America, the Russian Federation, and China, unfortunately, due to the shadow diplomacy and nefarious and inconspicuous dealings between the Francophone West African Countries and Western Countries the people are caught in the crossfire, and according to the current trends Russia and China are winning and the USA and its allies are losing legitimacy to stay relevant in these countries and continue their neo-colonial practices to Extract resources, for example, France has zero Uranium reserves in it or neighboring countries but has no shortage of Nuclear power plants, it sources its Uranium from Niger, a former French Colony who now has promised to ban all export of natural resources to the west. Similarly many Sahel countries are resisting the traditional Western style of governance as it has made their countries weak and susceptible to corruption which drains their resources meant to be used for the development and prosperity of their countries. In response, the Western block has imposed sanctions on these countries but so far has been ineffective as they can bypass the sanctions through Russia and China. The Coups displaced millions of people and in the process of Coup de’tat many people lost their lives as well.
To prevent more suffering for the common people the West has to participate more in nation-building and help train their armies and paramilitary to counter the Islamic jihadist insurgency which has instilled terror into the minds of the locals, in doing so and helping the regional integration of former Francophone countries to economic blocks such as ECOWAS and other groups, economic prosperity is the way forward for poor and underdeveloped former colonies.