Over the last several years, military juntas in and near the Sahel have seized power in countries spanning the African continent, from Guinea on the Atlantic coast to Sudan on the Red Sea. This “epidemic of coups” — as U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called it — spreads further instability, undermines democratic progress and human rights, and accelerate cycles of violence in countries already wracked by conflict. The situation demands an urgent response from the United States and its allies and partners.

Multiple factors are driving the rise in coups in the Sahel, including economic mismanagement, corruption, poverty, violent extremism and the failure of overwhelmed governments to resolve grievances over resources and progress social justice. But where putschists would previously have been condemned and held accountable by the international community, they are now increasingly able to evade pressure by exploiting strategic competition between major powers.

Countering Coups

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