A coup d’etat has taken place in Burkina Faso, barely 10 months after the last one that removed democratically elected Christian Roch Marc Kabore from power.
Reports of heavy artillery gunfire in the wee hours of Friday morning and heavy military presence in parts of the capital Ouagadougou raised fears of a takeover.
But the Presidency in a statement on Facebook said negotiations were ongoing and that an enemy was seeking to sow division between the people.
The state broadcaster went off for hours and returned to normal programming. But this evening, a group of armed soldiers appeared on the state TV to announce a takeover according to multiple reports.
They have announced the overthrow of the Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba-led junta with the new leader being in the person of Captain Ibrahim Traore.
The new junta announced that they have deposed Damiba as leader of the same coup vehicle that came into power in January, hence they are only taking over the leadership of the MPSR.
They cited the continued degradation of the security situation in the West African country as basis for their action.
They have also promised an immediate reorganization of the military with the view to halt the terrorist attacks and to restore durable security across the country.
The West Africa coup contagion
On May 24, 2021, Mali’s President, Bah N’daw, Prime Minister, Moctar Ouane and Minister of Defence, Souleymane Doucoure were captured by the Malian Army led by Vice President, Assimi Goita as the head of the junta.
They subsequently announced that N’daw and Ouane were stripped of their powers pending new general elections to be held in 2022.
This was the second time Goita had grabbed power, he emerged as the coup leader when late President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was removed in 2020 on the back of mass protests arising largely from insecurity.
Guinea experienced a coup, on September 5, 2021, when its President, Alpha Condé, was captured by the country’s armed forces after gunfire in the capital, Conakry.
Special forces commander Mamady Doumbouya released a broadcast on state television announcing the dissolution of the constitution and government.
Burkina Faso recorded a coup on Monday, January 24, 2022. The country’s Army, led by Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba confirmed that it had dissolved the government and the national assembly, as well as closed the borders.
Damiba will go on to announce a reconciliation body and meet with other stakeholders including regional leaders with the view of transitioning to democratic rule in the shortest possible time.
As recently as a week ago, he defended the January coup describing it as necessary and calling for concerted effort to combat terrorism in the region when he spoke at the 77th United Nations General Assembly.