Four African countries with the odd history of experiencing December 31 coups

Nii Ntreh December 31, 2019
Jerry Rawlings in his time as Ghana's military leader. Photo Credit: ABC News Ghana

If you ask any student of African politics what are the reasons the continent lags behind much of the world in terms of development, political instability will rear its ugly head among the reasons.

Sometimes, the democratic culture is not so strong and what you have is a shaky foundation for societal continuity. Most times, the instability is either caused by or turns into coups.

Military overthrows of governments are a common sight in Africa despite the unanimity of the international community’s condemnation.

And even if your interest is purely scientific, it does not take long to identify that the facts surrounding some coups are more interesting than others. Take, for instance, the dates on which some African coups have occurred.

There is no date in history more recurring for African coups than December 31.

Why? Political observers have not discerned yet but one can optimistically guess that since coup-makers tend to see themselves as bringers of a new order, December 31 is only fair as the time for “revolution”.

As follows are four African countries with their own history of December 31 coups.

Last Edited by:Kent Mensah Updated: December 31, 2019


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