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Burkina Faso Coup
News Bytes 01/26/2022 7 Comments

A military junta has seized control of Burkina Faso in West Africa. It was the third uprising of its kind in the region in the last 18 months. The mutinous soldiers kidnapped the country’s elected president, Roch Marc Christian Kabore, after a day of gun battles.

Gunfire erupted early Sunday in the capital of Ouagadougou (wah-gah-DOO-goo). Soldiers took control of a major military camp. In response, citizens rallied in a show of support for the rebellion. Security forces fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.

The gunfire ended Monday evening, and people celebrated again in the streets after reports of Kabore’s capture and the appointment of a new leader, Lt. Col. Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba.

According to Captain Sidsore Kaber Ouedraogo, the Patriotic Movement for Safeguarding and Restoration says soldiers blame the worsening security situation and the president’s inability to manage the crisis for the takeover.

Voters first elected Kabore in 2015 and reelected him in 2020. But frustration has grown at his failure to stem the country’s Islamic jihadist violence. Attacks linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group have killed thousands and displaced more than 1.5 million people in Burkina Faso.

Kabore’s location was not immediately known. The junta (group that rules after taking control by force) spokesman says only that the coup d’état has taken place “without any physical violence against those arrested, who are being held in a safe place, with respect for their dignity.”

The junta has closed the borders, imposed a curfew, suspended the constitution, and dissolved the government and parliament.

Ouedraogo says the country’s new leaders will work to establish a calendar “acceptable to everyone” for holding new elections. He did not give further details.

After the televised announcement, crowds took to the streets. They cheered and honked car horns in support of the takeover. People hoped that the coup would ease the devastation they have endured since jihadist violence spread across the country.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is calling on coup leaders to lay down their arms. He cites the U.N.’s “full commitment to the preservation of the constitutional order” in Burkina Faso and support for the people in their efforts “to find solutions” for their problems.

Regional African leaders and international bodies condemn the takeover.

In a statement, Kabore’s political party accuses the soldiers of trying to assassinate the president and another government minister. They claim the presidential palace in Ouagadougou remains surrounded by “heavily armed and hooded men.”

But the rebel soldiers insist the government was out of touch with its troops. Their demands include more forces in the battle against extremists and better care for the wounded and the families of the dead.

“This is an opportunity for Burkina Faso to regain its integrity,” says Manuel Sip, a protester. “The previous regime sunk us. People are dying daily. Soldiers are dying. There are thousands of displaced.” If anything, he believes the army should have ousted the president sooner.

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. — Proverbs 14:34

(Activist Mamadou Drabo announces to the crowd gathered at Place de la Nation that Lt. Col. Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba has taken the reins of the country in Ouagadougou on Monday, January 24, 2022. AP/Sophie Garcia)

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Most recent comments

1st comment

Well at least the people are happy. I hope they can get a better leader.

@ All/ This is Bella

2nd Comment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
@ Riley: Yeah, I agree

I love how that UN Secretary

I love how that UN Secretary-Goof-off called on them to lay down their arms. Translated, he screamed hysterically at them to stop it. XD Gotta love it, gotta love it.

Ah, the good old UN...

Hey, can anyone tell me about a time that the UN actually succeeded in doing something useful? If there is such a time, I don't remember ever hearing of it. As far as I know, they are a group of hoity-toities who live in a giant skyscraper somewhere in Europe who think they can solve all the world's problems by throwing money and hissy fits. Not to mention yelling at people through a megaphone to drop everything and bow to the all-powerful United Nations.

5th comment

@ Riley:
I agree with you that the people seem to be happy in the photo. Hopefully Lt. Col. Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba will be a better leader for their country.

@ Addie L

the UN headquarters is in New York city.


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