Mali is Just the Latest: US Africa Command Trained Troops Behind at Least Seven Coups in 13 Years

While the US Army School of the Americas is infamous for training right-wing guerrilla forces across Latin America, less well-known are the Pentagon’s military training programs in Africa, including the Flintlock exercises for the G5 Sahel nations, nearly all of which have experienced military coups in the last 13 years.

On Thursday, Malian Vice President Assami Goita, a colonel in the Malian Army, completed his second coup d’etat in just nine months, overthrowing the interim government he helped install and declaring himself the country’s interim president. A Western-trained soldier, Goita’s is just the latest in an increasingly long list of coups d’etat in Africa by soldiers trained by US Africa Command since its creation 13 years ago.

  • Mauritania, 2008. In August 2008, after Mauritanian Gen. Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz overthrew the Mauritanian government of President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, a spokesperson for US European Command told US military publication Stars and Stripes that the US had a “bilateral relationship” with Aziz and had coordinated security cooperation programs with him. Aziz had also assisted in a previous coup three years earlier.
  • Libya, 2011. The US part of the NATO-led war in Libya in March 2011 to overthrow longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi was dubbed Operation Odyssey Dawn, and was AFRICOM’s first major military operation. The war eliminated the US’ biggest opposition in Africa, with Gaddafi being responsible for why no African…

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