Burkina Faso troopers announce overthrow of navy authorities By Reuters




© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba, who led Burkina Faso’s navy coup in January, sits as he attends his sworn in ceremony for a second time as president to guide a three-year transition after a nationwide convention permitted a transitional


By Thiam Ndiaga and Anne Mimault

OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) -Armed troopers in fatigues and masks appeared on tv in Burkina Faso on Friday night time to verify the ouster of President Paul-Henri Damiba, the second coup within the troubled West African nation this yr.

The announcement capped a day that started with gunfire close to a navy camp within the capital Ouagadougou, an explosion close to the presidential palace, and interruptions to state tv programming.

It’s a sample that has grow to be more and more acquainted in West and Central Africa up to now two years as Islamist insurgents wreak havoc throughout the arid expanses of the Sahel area, killing hundreds and eroding religion in weak governments that haven’t discovered a strategy to beat them again.

Mali, Chad, and Guinea have all seen coups since 2020, elevating fears of a backslide in the direction of navy rule in a area that had made democratic progress over the previous decade.

Burkina Faso’s new chief is military Captain Ibrahim Traore. In a scene that replicated Damiba’s personal energy seize in a Jan. 24 coup, Traore appeared on tv surrounded by troopers and introduced the federal government was dissolved, the structure suspended and the borders closed. He declared a nightly curfew.

Damiba’s whereabouts have been unknown on Friday night.

Traore stated a gaggle of officers who helped Damiba seize energy in January had determined to take away their chief resulting from his incapacity to cope with the Islamists. Damiba ousted former President Roch Kabore for a similar purpose.

“Confronted with the deteriorating scenario, we tried a number of instances to get Damiba to refocus the transition on the safety query,” stated the assertion signed by Traore and browse out by one other officer on tv.

The assertion stated Damiba had rejected proposals by the officers to reorganise the military and as an alternative continued with the navy construction that had led to the autumn of the earlier regime.

“Damiba’s actions steadily satisfied us that his ambitions have been diverting away from what we got down to do. We determined at the present time to take away Damiba,” it stated.

Nationwide stakeholders will likely be invited quickly to undertake a brand new transitional constitution and designate a brand new civilian or navy president, it stated.

Civilian populations have cheered navy juntas within the hope that they could be extra profitable at containing the insurgents than their democratically elected predecessors. However hope has light quick.

Burkina Faso has grow to be the epicentre of violence carried out by teams linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State that started in neighbouring Mali in 2012 and has unfold to different West African international locations south of the Sahara Desert.

1000’s have been killed in raids on rural communities and hundreds of thousands have been compelled to flee. This week, no less than 11 troopers died in an assault in northern Burkina Faso. Dozens of civilians are nonetheless lacking.

Friday’s coup creates a conundrum for West Africa’s political bloc, the Financial Neighborhood of West African States (ECOWAS), which has tried to steer coup leaders within the area to return to civilian rule as quickly as doable.

ECOWAS suspended Burkina Faso after the January coup however had since agreed to a two-year transition again to democratic elections.

“ECOWAS reaffirms its unreserved opposition to any taking or sustaining of the ability by unconstitutional means,” it stated in a press release.

It demanded “scrupulous respect for the timeline already agreed with the Transitional Authorities for a return to constitutional order no later than July 1, 2024.”

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