In West Africa, democracy struggles to survive as the military threatens civilian power

by Adam Nossiter

President Obama met with four West African presidents on Friday, July 28 in the White House (from left, President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, President Boni Yayi of Benin, President Alpha Condé of Guinea, and President Alassane Ouattara of Cote D’Ivoire). Photo: Philip Scott Andrews/The New York Times

DAKAR, Senegal — President Obama hosted four recently elected West African presidents on Friday in a gesture of support for the continent’s nascent democracies. Given what they are wrestling with, they could certainly use it.