Home LATEST NEWS Burkina Faso: the overthrown president is in detention, but in good health

Burkina Faso: the overthrown president is in detention, but in good health


An extraordinary and virtual summit of the Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will be held on Friday to examine the situation in Burkina after this putsch, with the key to possible sanctions against the military.

For several hours on Monday, the fate of Mr. Kaboré remained unclear, with contradictory information circulating about an arrest, an exfiltration, and even a assassination attempt.

He is still in the hands of the armydetained in a presidential villa under house arrest, a senior source in his party, the People’s Movement for Progress (MPP), told AFP on Wednesday. She gave reassuring news: according to her, Mr. Kaboré physically well and has a doctor at his disposal.

Words that confirm statements by French President Emmanuel Macron, who had said the day before that he had had confirmation that he was in good health and that he was not threatened.

According to the source at the MPP, Mr. Kaboré was not arrested in the early hours of the revolt of the soldiers. At first, while his private residence was squared by the mutineersher close guard had exfiltrated him in an unmarked vehicle to bring it to a safe place.

It was later, and under pressure from the mutineers, that his guards – notably the gendarmes – had to leave him in the hands of the putschists and join them in strideshe said, pointing out that the gendarmerie could only rally, because the whole army was willing to dismiss the president from office.

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MPP vice-president Clément Sawadogo told AFP that Mr. Kaboré had written a letter of resignation after the announcement of the coup, to preserve the peace, to avoid a bloodbath which we did not need with what we already undergoreferring to the jihadist violence plaguing the country.

Mutinies in the barracks

Roch Marc Christian Kaboré was overthrown by soldiers led by a lieutenant-colonel, Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, president of a junta called the Patriotic Movement for Safeguarding and Restoration (MPSR).

The junta has taken the lead of a country plagued by jihadist violence since 2015 which has intensified in recent months, after two days of mutinies in several barracks.

The MPSR had announced the dissolution or suspension of the institutions of the Republic, as well as the closure of air and land borders.

However, the air borders were reopened on Tuesday, as were the land borders for certain products, which seems to indicate that the junta does not fear a backlash and controls the various army corps.

During a meeting with the ministers of the dissolved government, the head of the junta asked them to limit their movements and not to leave the country, except authorization, according to political sources with the AFP.

He also told them he wanted to involve all the national components in the management of the transition, they added.

Lassina Zerbo, the Prime Minister appointed in December by Mr. Kaboré, was also placed under house arrestaccording to the vice-president of the MPP.

International condemnation of the putsch

The coup d’etat in Burkina, which comes after those in Mali and Guinea, has been strongly condemned by the international community, which is demanding immediate release of the overthrown president.

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On Wednesday, Josep Borrell, in charge of European Union foreign policy, warned that if constitutional order is not restoredthat would have immediate consequences for our partnership with the country.

Condemnations come from almost all Western countries, Burkina Faso’s West African neighbors, the African Union and the UN.

The only discordant voice came from Moscow where the businessman Evguéni Prigojine, reputed to be close to Vladimir Putin and suspected of being linked to the opaque paramilitary group Wagner present in several African countries, hailed the putsch as a sign of ‘a new era of decolonization in Africa.

In Burkina, the main opposition party, the Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP) of former President Blaise Compaoré chased by the street in 2014, had not yet reacted on Wednesday. Only a few small parties condemned the coup.

The demonstrations of anger of Burkinabè exasperated by the jihadist violence had multiplied in recent months, accusing President Kaboré of being unable to deal with it.

In the wake of neighboring Mali and Niger, Burkina has been caught since 2015 in a spiral of violence attributed to armed jihadist groups, affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group, which in nearly seven years have caused more than 2,000 dead and forced at least 1.5 million people to flee their homes.

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