Burkina Faso file

Captain overthrows military govt in Burkina Faso

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Burkina Faso Army Captain, Ibrahim Traore, on Friday ousted military leader, Paul-Henri Damiba, and dissolved the government. This was the West African country’s second coup in eight months.

Traore said in a statement read on national television on Friday evening that a group of officers, who helped Damiba to seize power in January, had decided to remove their leader due to his inability to deal with worsening Islamist insurgency.

Reuters reported that Damiba had ousted former President Roch Kabore in January, in part for the same reason.

Consequently, the constitution has been suspended and the transitional charter dissolved, borders are closed indefinitely and all political and civil society activities are suspended, Traore said. He also declared a curfew from 9pm to 5am.

“Faced with the deteriorating situation, we tried several times to get Damiba to refocus the transition on the security question,” said the statement signed by Traore and read out by another officer on television, flanked by a group of soldiers in military fatigues and heavy armour.

The statement said Damiba had rejected proposals by the officers to reorganise the army and instead continued with the military structure that had led to the fall of the previous regime.

“Damiba’s actions gradually convinced us that his ambitions were diverting away from what we set out to do. We decided this day to remove Damiba,” it said.

He said national stakeholders would be invited soon to adopt a new transitional charter and designate a new civilian or military president.


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