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Principles or Pragmatism? How to React to West Africa’s Slew of Coups

West Africa has experienced six coup attempts over the past two years, four of which saw the military successfully ousting presidents in Mali (twice), Guinea, and Burkina Faso. 

Though unconstitutional, those power grabs garnered significant popular support, embodying the failure of democraticallyelected governments in that part of the world. 

  • Rinaldo Depagne
  • Georgetown Journal of International Affairs

In a region where Islamist militancy is gaining ground, international partners may have to overcome their reluctance to engage with military leaders.

It has become an all too familiar scenario in West Africa: men in military fatigues appear on national television to solemnly announce that the president has been deposed and the…

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