The West African nation, Burkina Faso witnessed a military coup on Monday. President Roch Marc Christian Kabore survived an assassination attempt in this process. His whereabouts are unknown.
Fighting began on Sunday when soldiers took control of the the Lamizana Sangoule military barracks in the capital, Ouagadougou.
Burkina Faso’s public demonstrations mounted pressure on President Roch over his government’s handling of the Islamic insurgency. Over the past few months, frustration has been growing over his inability to control the spread of jihadist violence across the country. Demand for his resignation started accelerating across the country.
Gunshots were heard late Sunday night near the president’s residence and in the early hours of Monday a battle took place at the presidential palace while a helicopter flew overhead. The roads of the capital were empty Sunday night except for checkpoints heavily guarded by mutinous soldiers.
After the coup, a statement signed by Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba stated the suspension of the constitution, the dissolution of the government and parliament. Also, announced the closure of the country’s borders from Monday midnight. A nationwide night curfew has been enforced. Mobile networks and internet was cut the same day.
He further stated the new Patriotic Movement for Preservation and Restoration (MPSR) would re-establish constitutional order within a reasonable time.
Hundreds of civilians gathered in Ouagadougou to celebrate the military coup by welcoming soldiers and waving the national flag.
World’s reaction over the Coup:
African and Western powers denounced attempted coup.
EU demanded the “immediate” release of President Roch Marc Christian Kabore.
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said:
We now know that President Kabore is under the control of of the military. The situation is “extremely worrying”.
The United States also called for Kabore’s release and urged “
members of the security forces to respect Burkina Faso’s constitution and civilian leadership.
United Nations chief Antonio Guterres said
strongly condemns any attempted takeover of government by the force of arms, calling the events a “coup”.
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West African states in the ECOWAS grouping described the latest volatility as a “coup attempt” and held “soldiers responsible for (Kabore’s) physical well-being”.
The African Union commission chief, Moussa Faki Mahamat said:
strongly condemns the attempted coup d’etat against the democratically elected president.
Earlier the ruling party urged its
loyalist security forces, patriots and republicans to distance themselves from this umpteenth attempt at destabilisation (and) stand with the Burkinabe people, law and democracy.
President Roch Marc Christian Kabore was facing wave of protests in recent months amid frustration over killing of civilians and soldiers by militants.