Burkina Faso: President apparently arrested by soldiers

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Mutinous soldiers surround the entrance of Burkina Faso’s national television station – a little later they speak up. © picture alliance/dpa/AP | Sophie Garcia

In the West African country of Burkina Faso, President Roch Marc Kaboré has apparently been arrested by mutinous soldiers. In the afternoon there was a sign of life.

Update from January 24, 7:37 p.m.: The situation in the West African country of Burkina Faso remains confusing. After the mutiny, uniformed soldiers announced the military takeover on state television. The government had been deposed and parliament dissolved, the soldiers said.

The whereabouts of President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré was initially unclear after a mutiny. Security circles said on Monday morning (January 24) that the President and other members of his government had been arrested and taken to barracks in the capital, Ouagadougou. However, government circles later said that the head of state had been taken out of his residence on Sunday evening before the soldiers arrived.

The ruling party spoke of a foiled assassination attempt on the head of state and on a minister. Kaboré’s whereabouts remained unknown. There had already been violent protests against the government and riots in several barracks in the country over the weekend. The military accuses Kaboré of failing to fight radical Islamic militias.

In their video message, which was shared on television and Facebook, the soldiers announced that the borders would be closed. They promised a “return to constitutional order” within a “reasonable time”.

Crisis in Burkina Faso: President and minister apparently arrested by soldiers – explanation expected

Update from January 24, 4 p.m.: In Burkina Faso, West Africa, President Roch Marc Kaboré has been arrested by mutinous soldiers (see first report). On Monday afternoon there was a sign of life from Kaboré for the first time. Via the short message service Twitter, the President asked the soldiers to lay down their arms and engage in dialogue. West Africa’s economic community of states, Ecowas, also said it supports the government.

First report from January 24th: Ouagadougou – In Burkina Faso*, President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré has been arrested by mutinous soldiers, according to information from security circles. In addition to Kaboré, the head of parliament and the ministers are also in the hands of the soldiers in a barracks in the capital Ouagadougou, according to several security sources on Monday. The West African country was already shaken by unrest at the weekend; shots were fired in several barracks. However, the government denied a military coup.

Burkina Faso: President in military camp? Mutinous soldiers want to make a statement

The head of state of the West African country was driven to a military camp in the capital, Ouagadougou. The German Press Agency refers to a high-ranking soldier who wanted to remain anonymous. The mutinous soldiers would make another statement. The building of the national television station in the capital was already surrounded by them on Monday morning.

Two men drove past a checkpoint in front of a military base in Ouagadoudou, Burkina Faso, on January 23, 2022.
Two men drove past a checkpoint in front of a military base in Ouagadoudou, Burkina Faso, on January 23, 2022. © Sam Mednick/dpa

There had already been violent protests against the government on Saturday, and there were also violent clashes between demonstrators and security forces. President Kaboré then issued a night curfew*.

A day later, soldiers fired shots in several barracks across the country, saying they were demanding the dismissal of some top army chiefs and better equipment. Residents of the capital later reported gunshots near the president’s private residence.

Burkina Faso: President arrested by soldiers – government recently rejected reports of taking power

As recently as Sunday, the government had declared that there was no “army takeover” and that the political institutions were “currently” not under threat. She rejected corresponding reports in the online networks and called on “the population to keep calm”.

West African Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world. The country, like other states in the Sahel zone, is also fighting attacks by Islamist militias, some of which are linked to the al-Qaeda network or the jihadist militia Islamic State (IS). (AFP / dpa / cibo) * Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.


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