Army captain announces overthrow of Burkina Faso’s military government

Army captain announces overthrow of Burkina Faso’s military government

Burkina Faso Army Captain Ibrahim Traore has announced the ousting of military leader Paul-Henri Damiba, dissolution of the government and suspension of the constitution and transitional charter.

Mr Traore announced the coup in a statement on national television on Friday evening, saying a group of officers decided to remove Mr Damiba over his inability to deal with a worsening Islamist insurgency.

Mr Traore announced that the country’s borders were now closed indefinitely and that all political and civil society activities were suspended. More than 40 per cent of Burkina Faso is outside government control.

On Friday morning, multiple reports noted soldiers on the streets and heavy gunfire near the main military camp and residential areas of Burkina Faso’s capital.

Explosions were also heard near the presidential palace.

This is the second coup seen by the African country since January. On January 22, police in the capital Ouagadougou clashed with protesters at a banned protest over the government’s handling of its insecurity concerns which it has battled since 2015.

On January 24, President Roch Marc Christian Kabore was arrested by soldiers after gunshots were heard near his private residence.

In February, Coup leader Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba was inaugurated as president on February 16 and in March, the military junta signed a charter establishing a three-year transition period before the country would hold its elections.

Last week, Mr Damiba travelled to New York where he addressed the United Nations General Assembly, defending his January coup as “an issue of survival for our nation,” even if it was ”perhaps reprehensible” to the international community.



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