USIP’s Heather Ashby, Jude Mutah, Andrew Scobell and Mona Yacoubian examine how the invasion of Ukraine might have shifted Moscow’s decision-making in other regions — such as Syria, the Sahel and China.
The past year’s surge in coups around Africa’s greater Sahel region highlights the need for the United States, other democracies and African governments to improve past practices that often have been ineffective in preventing armed seizures of power and in reversing them when they occur. Many Sahel countries have suffered repeated coups—a warning that we need to strengthen the ways that we shape our efforts at restoring democracy. USIP experts suggest that these transitions must become periods for broad, national dialogues to set agendas for change that can make strengthen democracy and interrupt cycles of failed governance.
Armies have seized power in five states of the greater Sahel over nine months, cementing this African region as the most pronounced center of a global crisis. The Sahel’s military coups d’état are an acute symptom of poor and authoritarian governance that is breeding extremism and transnational criminality, igniting violence and undermining efforts to build democracies. These crises highlight widening security risks for the Sahel’s 135 million people and ultimately for Europe and the United States. Congress has begun urgently needed policy changes that analysts say should now be accelerated to prevent further coups and to buttress stability and democracy.