Home LATEST NEWS Burkina Faso: President Kaboré detained in Ouagadougou by mutineers

Burkina Faso: President Kaboré detained in Ouagadougou by mutineers

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President Kaboré, the head of Parliament (Alassane Bala Sakandé) and ministers are indeed in the hands of soldiers, at the Sangoulé Lamizana barracks in Ouagadougou, a security source told AFP, information confirmed by another source within the security services.

In power since 2015, President Kaboré, re-elected in 2020 on the promise to make the fight against jihadist his priority, was increasingly contested by a population exasperated by jihadist violence and its powerlessness to deal with it.

An AFP journalist noted that a dozen hooded and armed soldiers had posted themselves Monday morning in front of the headquarters of Radio Television du Burkina (RTB), which broadcast entertainment programs.

Soldiers and a military vehicle in front of the Radio Télévision du Burkina site.

Mutineers guarded the headquarters of Radio Television du Burkina on Monday morning.

Photo: The Canadian Press/AP/Sophie Garcia

Soldiers mutinied on Sunday in several barracks in Burkina Faso to demand the departure of army chiefs and adapted means in the fight against the jihadists who have been attacking this country since 2015.

Shots were heard at the end of the day near the residence of the head of state and a helicopter flew over the area with all lights extinguished, according to residents.

These mutinies came as the Sahel is increasingly destabilized by jihadists who are also hitting neighboring Niger and Mali, a country that has been the scene of two coups in a few months.

Beyond that, in West Africa, the fragility of States also manifested itself with a putsch in Guinea.

Men observe a black sport utility vehicle riddled with bullets.

Several bullet holes are visible on this vehicle belonging to the presidency, after shooting near the residence of Mr. Kaboré.

Photo: Reuters / Freelancer

Several angry demonstrations have taken place for several months in several cities of Burkina Faso to denounce the inability of the authorities to counter the jihadist attacks which are multiplying, often prohibited and dispersed by the riot police.

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Throughout the day on Sunday, demonstrators supported the mutineers and set up makeshift roadblocks in several avenues in the capital, before being dispersed by the police, AFP journalists noted.

Close-up of Roch Marc Christian Kaboré.

Burkinabé President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, during a visit to Paris, November 12, 2021.

Photo: The Canadian Press/AP/Michel Euler

Shots were heard for several hours on Sunday in several barracks in Burkina Faso, including those of Sangoulé Lamizana, Baba Sy and the air base in Ouagadougou.

Mutinies also took place in Kaya and Ouahigouya, in northern Burkina where the majority of jihadist attacks are concentrated, according to residents and military sources.

The government had recognized shootings in several barracks, denying however military takeover.

On Sunday evening, President Kaboré had decreed until further notice a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. local time, and the government announced the closure of schools on Monday and Tuesday.

Men in uniform walk by an overturned car on a street.

Burkinabe soldiers move near a damaged vehicle in front of the Guillaume Ouedraogo military base in Ouagadougou.

Photo: Getty Images / AFP/OLYMPIA DE MAISMONT

We want means adapted to the fight anti-jihadist and substantial staff, as well as the replacement of the highest ranks of the national army, said in an audio recording sent to AFP a soldier from the Sangoulé Lamizana barracks, on condition of anonymity.

He also wished better care for the injured during attacks and fights with jihadists, as well as families of the deceased.

The mutineers’ claims were confirmed by other military sources and fruitless discussions took place between their representatives and the Minister of Defense, General Barthélémy Simporé, according to a government source.

The Sangoulé Lamizana camp in Ouagadougou where President Kaboré is detained is home to the Armed Forces Arrest and Correction Center (MACA) where General Gilbert Diendéré is also imprisoned, close to former President Blaise Compaoré who was overthrown in 2014 and who has lived since in Ivory Coast.

General Diendéré was sentenced to 20 years in prison for an attempted coup in 2015 against President Kaboré and is currently on trial for his alleged role in the 1987 assassination of then-President Thomas Sankara, a pan-African icon.

The trial of the alleged assassins of Sankara, which was to enter Monday in the phase of indictments and pleadings before the military court of Ouagadougou, has been postponed to an indefinite date, according to a judicial source.

A man reads a newspaper.  In one, we can read

A Burkinabé learns about the latest developments by reading a local daily newspaper.

Photo: Getty Images / AFP/OLYMPIA DE MAISMONT

Like Mali and Niger, Burkina Faso is caught in a spiral of violence attributed to armed jihadist groups, affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State armed group. The attacks, which target civilians and soldiers, are increasingly frequent and mostly concentrated in the north and east of the country.

The violence of jihadist groups has killed more than 2,000 people in nearly seven years and forced 1.5 million people to flee their homes.

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