Soldiers say army now controls Burkina Faso

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — More than a dozen service members announced Monday on state television that a military rank…

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) – More than a dozen military personnel announced on state television Monday that a military junta now controls Burkina Faso after they arrested the democratically elected president after a Gunfight day in the capital.

Captain Sidsore Kaber Ouedraogo said that the Patriotic Movement to Protect and Restore would work to establish a “universally acceptable” schedule for holding new elections, without giving further details.

THIS IS A HOT NEWS UPDATE. The AP’s previous story follows.

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) – Burkina Faso’s ruling political party warned Monday that soldiers are close to completing a military coup in the West African nation after attempting to assassinate President Roch Marc. Christian Kabore and gain control of the public broadcast media.

It is unclear who is in control of the country, which was once a bastion of stability in the region but has been besieged by a deepening Muslim insurgency in recent years. Prominent soldiers said the captured president was detained, but a statement on his Twitter account made no mention of whether he would be detained.

“What appeared to be a simple mutiny by a few elements of the military” on Sunday was “moving toward a military coup against democracy that is hard for us to win,” the party said in a statement. given by Kabore.

The country’s democracy is “being held hostage by an armed group with ulterior motives”, the party warned.

The ruling party accused the soldiers of slyly trying to assassinate Kabore and another government minister, saying the presidential palace in Ouagadougou was still surrounded by “armed and hooded men”. head”.

The president’s tweet urged the soldiers to put down their weapons, though could not confirm whether he posted the statement himself.

Two soldiers told the Associated Press they were holding the leader, but they did not say where they were holding him. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Gunfire broke out early Sunday as soldiers took control of a large military barracks in the capital Ouagadougou. In response, civilians rallied to show support for the uprising but were dispersed by security forces firing tear gas. Burkina Faso has seen a flurry of anti-government protests as anger grows over its handling of the Muslim insurgency.

Groups of people celebrated again in the streets of the capital on Monday morning after reports of Kabore’s arrest.

Kabore was elected in 2015 after a popular uprising toppled President Blaise Compaore, the longtime strongman. Kabore was re-elected in November 2020, but frustration grew at his inability to stop the spread of jihadist violence across the country. Attacks involving al-Qaida and the Islamic State group are escalating, leaving thousands dead and more than 1.5 million displaced.

The military has suffered numerous casualties since radical violence began in 2016. In December, more than 50 security forces were killed and nine others were killed in November.

The M Nep soldiers told the AP that the government had no contact with the army and that they wanted the army to rule. Among their demands are more force in the fight against extremists and better care for the wounded and the families of those killed.

About 100 military members have been planning to take over since August, according to one of the prominent soldiers.

Sahel experts say the government is over-managed, but it’s unlikely the mutiny will change anything.

“The army of Burkina Faso was poorly equipped and unprepared for the war they were asked to fight. It is beyond its depth. Its frustration with a government with no less depth is understandable. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to improve anything,” said Michael Shurkin, a former political analyst at the CIA and global program director at 14 North Strategies, a business intelligence consulting firm based in Senegal, said.

But as the protests over the weekend and Monday show, discontent among the general population is also growing.

“People are tired of this state of insecurity. Every day someone is killed. In Burkina, there are areas that cannot be entered. We have lost a large part of our territory,” said Jean-Baptiste Ilboudou, a civilian who was cycling near the military base when he heard gunfire.

The West African regional bloc known as ECOWAS, which has suspended Mali and Guinea for the past 18 months because of military coups, issued a statement in support of Burkina Faso’s embroiled president and urged dialogue with mutants.

Burkina Faso has also seen attempted coups and military takeovers – although it experienced a period of relative stability under Compaore, who ruled for 27 years until he was ousted. in 2014.

Earlier this month, authorities arrested a group of soldiers accused of participating in a debunked coup plot. It was not immediately known if there was any connection between those soldiers and the rebels now. Military prosecutors say nine soldiers and two civilians are being held in connection with the plot.

In 1987, Compaore came to power by force. And in 2015, soldiers loyal to him who tried to overthrow the transitional government were put in place after his ouster. The military was finally able to bring the transitional bodies back to power, which they led again until Kabore won the election and came to power.

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Associated Press writers Krista Larson and Carley Petesch of Dakar, Senegal, contributed to this report.

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https://wtop.com/africa/2022/01/burkina-fasos-president-kabore-is-held-by-mutinous-soldiers/ Soldiers say army now controls Burkina Faso

James Brien

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