Military coup in violence-torn West African Burkina-Faso

Uprising of a frustrated army in Burkina Faso.

In Burkina Faso, the military has couped its way to power. An official confirmation by the army leadership followed only hours later

Johannes Dieterich

The wave of military coups in West Africa is not abating. After Mali, Guinea and Chad, the military in Burkina Faso now seems to have seized power. Local media and Western diplomats reported on Monday that the president of the West African state, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, had been captured by soldiers on Sunday night. He was being held in the Sangoule Lamizana barracks on the outskirts of the capital Ouagadougou.

What exactly was behind the coup remained in the dark for many hours. For a long time, no officer had publicly claimed responsibility for the coup. Only on Monday evening did the military announce that the president had been ousted, the constitution suspended and the borders closed. The declaration was signed by Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba and read out by another military officer on television.

All night long there had been fierce fighting around the president's residence in the Patte-d'oie district, during which, according to eyewitnesses, a helicopter was also used. On Monday morning, numerous damaged vehicles could be seen in front of the presidential villa. In addition to the president, the speaker of parliament and several ministers were reportedly detained. According to the military, the persons were in a safe place.

The latest unrest had started early Sunday morning in several barracks in the country. There were reportedly exchanges of fire, from which the mutinous soldiers apparently emerged victorious. In front of the Sangoule Lamizana barracks, an officer read out a list of demands later in the day, which included, above all, better support for the soldiers in their fight against Islamist extremists. The demands included stronger weapons, better care for wounded comrades and higher compensation for families whose sons died in combat.

The soldiers also demanded the removal of leading generals accused of inefficiency. The extremists' machinations have taken on devastating proportions over the past six years: More than 2,000 people have been killed and at least 1.4 million displaced from their homes.

More and more parts of the country are no longer controlled by the government, according to Laessing: "Meanwhile, it can only provide security in the centre of the country around the capital Ouagadougou."

The military is inadequately equipped to fight extremists, says former CIA analyst Michael Shurkin: their frustration with the government is understandable. "Unfortunately, however, the coup will not make that any better." (Johannes Dieterich, 24.1.2022)

übersetzt aus: Aufstand einer frustrierten Armee in Burkina Faso - Afrika - › International

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