Closing the Book on Africa's first generation coups

Jonathan Powell, Mwita Chacha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The Zimbabwe Defence Forces' November 2017 removal of Robert Mugabe was the first successful military coup in Africa in over three years. Increasingly rare in contemporary politics, Mugabe's removal at the barrel of the gun was a common fate for the original generation of political leadership in the region. We contextualize Mugabe's removal by reviewing the fates of Sub-Saharan Africa's original post-colonial leadership, of which a majority was directly removed in military coups. The fall of Mugabe can be seen as the final chapter on coups against the original generation of leadership, but is unique in regard to the fate of the ousted leader. Of all prior first generation leaders removed via a coup, each was imprisoned, exiled, or killed in association with the coup.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-94
Number of pages8
JournalAfrican Studies Quarterly
Volume18
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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  • Cite this

    Powell, J., & Chacha, M. (2019). Closing the Book on Africa's first generation coups. African Studies Quarterly, 18(2), 87-94.