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A new report on African governance released Wednesday (Jan. 25) finds much of the continent is “less safe, secure and democratic” than it was 10 years ago, citing a surge in military coups and armed conflicts.

The democratic backsliding now threatens to reverse decades of progress made in Africa, according to an index of governance compiled by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation that notes 23 successful and attempted coups since 2012.

“This phenomenon of coup d’etats that was common in the ’80s seems to have become fashionable again in certain parts of Africa,” said Ibrahim, a British billionaire born in Sudan who is using his fortune to promote democracy and political accountability in Africa.

His foundation’s report cited eight successful coups just since 2019. Mali and neighboring Burkina Faso have seen two each during that time, further destabilizing a part of the world already under siege by Islamic militants.

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