In Burkina Faso there was the second coup in just one year. President Damiba was deposed by the military.
Ouagadougou – West Africa’s Burkina Faso has been rocked by another military coup just eight months after the last coup. According to local media reports, the previous president, Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, had been relieved of his functions in a televised speech by the new rulers on state television RTB on Friday evening (September 30). Burkina Faso is now headed by Captain Ibrahima Traoré of the Burkinabe armed forces, it said.
The interim parliament has reportedly been dissolved and the constitution suspended. The borders of Burkina were therefore closed for the time being. The new rulers imposed a curfew until 5 a.m.
Military Coup in Burkina Faso: International Criticism and Concern
The EU expressed concern about the development, as did the US State Department in Washington. A State Department spokesman called for restraint on all involvement. The French Foreign Ministry recommended that around 4,000 to 5,000 French people in the country not to leave their homes for the time being. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) also condemned the coup in the strongest possible terms, saying it came at an “unfortunate” time as progress had been made towards a return to constitutional order.
Up until the evening, the previous President Denimba had announced that he was conducting negotiations with his “brothers-in-arms”. At the same time he called on the population to remain calm and prudent. Soldiers had been stationed in central locations in the Burkinabe capital of Ouagadougou since the early morning. They also blocked access to the Presidential Palace. Shots were heard in the capital on Friday night.
Burkina Faso: The military has ruled since the coup in January
The military has ruled Burkina Faso since a coup in January. According to their own statements, the soldiers wanted to ensure more security. Recently, however, the security situation has deteriorated, increasing pressure on Lt. Col. Damiba’s interim government. In September, there were two serious attacks on supply convoys in the border region of Mali and Niger, i.e. in the north of Burkina Faso. Dozens of soldiers and civilians were killed.
The political and humanitarian situation in the Sahel country with around 21 million inhabitants has been unstable for years. Armed groups, some affiliated with the Islamic State terrorist group or the al-Qaeda terrorist network, are active there and in neighboring Mali and Niger. Long-lasting droughts and hunger crises are also causing problems for the country, which is impoverished despite rich gold deposits. (sne/dpa/AFP)