Home LATEST NEWS Sustained gunfire echoes in military camps in Burkina Faso

Sustained gunfire echoes in military camps in Burkina Faso

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These mood swings in the barracks of the country, which has experienced several coups and putsch attempts in the past, illustrate the fragility of the power of the president, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, and the stakes posed by jihadist violence, which is growing in the country, but which the president is unable to counter.

The government quickly reacted by acknowledging shootings in several barracks, but denied military takeover.

No institution of the Republic has yet been worried, said the Minister of Defense, General Barthélémy Simporé, in a television intervention. He added that the movements observed in some barracks are localized, circumscribed.

Since 1 a.m., shots have been heard here in Gounghin, coming from the Sangoulé Lamizana camp, said a soldier from this district located at the western exit of Ouagadougou, which residents confirmed, speaking of increasingly heavy fire.

Shots were also heard in another military camp in Ouagadougou, that of Baba Sy, at the southern exit of the capital, and at the air base near the airport, according to military sources.

Shots also rang out in barracks in Kaya and Ouahigouya, in the north of the country, according to residents.

Residents of the Gounghin district said that soldiers from the Sangoulé Lamizana camp came out of their barracks, firing shots in the air, and cordoned off the perimeter around the barracks.

On Sunday afternoon, about forty soldiers outside the barracks fired into the air nearly several hundred jubilant people who had come to support them.

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The perimeter around the airbase barracks was also cordoned off with hooded soldiers firing into the air.

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, indicates in an audio recording 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.

At no time did this soldier demand the departure of Burkinabe President Roch Christian Kaboré, accused by a large part of the population of being unable to counter jihadist groups.

These claims have been confirmed by other military sources and discussions were underway on Sunday afternoon between representatives of the mutineers and the Minister of Defense, according to a government source.

The soldiers supported by the Burkinabés

A dozen soldiers stand huddled together in riot gear in front of a few motorcyclists.

The security forces confronted the people who gathered in Place de la Nation to support the soldiers.

Photo: dpa via getty images / Olympia de Maismont

In the morning, a hundred people who tried to gather at Place de la Nation, in the center of Ouagadougou, to express their support for the movement of soldiers, were dispersed with tear gas by the police.

Later in the day, supporters of the mutinous military set fire to the ruling party headquarters in the capital before being dispersed by police, s

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Mobile Internet was cut on Sunday morning.

The Sangoulé Lamizana camp is home to the Armed Forces Prison and Correctional Center (Maca) where General Gilbert Diendéré, close to former President Blaise Compaoré who was overthrown in 2014 and who has since lived in Côte d’Ivoire, is detained.

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

These movements in the barracks come the day after new demonstrations of anger from residents exasperated by the powerlessness of the authorities to deal with the jihadist violence which is ravaging Burkina Faso.

On Saturday, incidents erupted in Ouagadougou and other cities across the country between law enforcement and demonstrators who defied a ban on gathering to protest insecurity.

Like neighboring 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.

Attacks targeting 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 7 years and forced 1.5 million people to flee their homes.

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