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Monday, November 28, 2022

Burkina Faso army captain overthrows military government in second coup d'etat in eight months

BURKINA Faso has now experienced its second coup d’etat in eight months.

Army Capt Traore declared in a broadcast statement the suspension of the constitution and of the charter of the transition, the dissolution of the government of transition, and a curfew from 9pm to 5am.

Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba is a Burkinabé military officer who served as interim president of Burkina Faso from January 31, 2022 to September 30, 2022.

Ibrahim Traore cited Lt Col Damiba’s inability to deal with an Islamist insurgency as the reason for the takeover.

On Monday, 11 soldiers were killed when they were escorting a convoy of civilian vehicles in the north of the country, according to reports by the BBC.

Earlier on Friday, Lt Col Damiba urged the population to remain calm after heavy gunfire was heard in parts of the capital.

Meanwhile, borders were closed indefinitely and all political activities were suspended.

The junta accused Damiba of diverting away from the ideals of the Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration (MPSR), the ruling military junta of Burkina Faso since the coup d’etat in January 2022.

Damiba’s junta overthrew an elected government in January, citing a failure to halt Islamist attacks.

Burkina Faso Army Capt Ibrahim Traore announced on Friday evening that the country’s president, Lt Col Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, was evicted, according to early reports by Reuters on Saturday.

Surrounded by a team of soldiers, Traore declared in a broadcast statement the suspension of the constitution and of the charter of the transition, the dissolution of the government of transition, and a curfew from 9pm to 5am.

He also announced the closure of the country’s borders until further notice and suspension of activities of political parties as well as of civil society organisations.

Traore said he would convene all forces of the country to elaborate a new charter and to appoint a military or civilian president for Burkina Faso.

Islamic Insurgency

According to Human Rights Watch Report 2022, during 2021, there was a marked deterioration in Burkina Faso’s human rights and security situation as attacks and atrocities by armed Islamist groups surged, unlawful killings by state security forces and pro-government militias during counter-terrorism operations continued and the humanitarian situation worsened.

ECOWAS condemns take-over

The Economic Community of West African States on Friday condemned the seizure of power by a group of soldiers in Burkina Faso.

The regional bloc said the coup came at an inopportune time when Burkina Faso had made progress towards returning to constitutional rule following a January military takeover from a civilian government.

Reports of soldiers patrolling the streets

Yesterday, there were reports of soldiers on the streets and heavy gunfire had been heard near the main military camp and residential areas of Burkina Faso’s capital.

A large blast also rang out near the presidential palace where soldiers took up positions.

The Movement for Safeguard and Restoration (MPSR), the ruling military junta of Burkina Faso, led by Damiba, seized power in Burkina Faso on January 24.

The military group ousted then-Burkinabe President Roch Marc Christian Kabore, dissolved the government and suspended the constitution, according to Sputnik news.

The group later announced their decision to restore the country’s constitution.

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