Burkina Faso: Military official declares dissolution of government and removal of leader

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A new military takeover has been declared in Burkina Faso after a day marked by gunfire and confusion in the capital Ouagadougou. The country’s land and air borders have been closed and its constitution suspended.

In an announcement on state television late Friday, a military official from Burkina Faso announced the dissolution of the current government and the resignation of the junta leader, President Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba.

Army captain Ibrahim Traore will now take the reins as president of the country’s ruling junta, the Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration (MPSR), which first seized power earlier this year, military official Kiswendsida Farouk Azaria Sorgho said.

With the suspension of the constitution and government, this is the second military takeover of Burkina Faso in a year.

Accompanied by more than a dozen members of the military, Sorgho read a communiqué from Traore announcing the changes. He also accused Damiba of “betraying” the military’s goal of restoring security to the country.

“People of Burkina Faso, faced with the deteriorating security situation, have tried several times to refocus the transition on the issue of security,” Sorgho said.

“Lieutenant Colonel Damiba’s risky choices have increasingly weakened our security apparatus,” he also said.

Previous attempts to calm the uprising appear to have been unsuccessful. Earlier on Friday, after residents of the capital Ouagadougou woke up to the sound of gunfire, then-junta leaders declared the situation the result of “a mood swing” among some military members, and said talks were underway. .

“The enemy attacking our country only wants to create division among Burkinabes to effect its destabilization,” Damiba said in a Facebook statement at the time.

Although normal street activity was seen on Friday, heavy gunfire was heard from the main military camp and some residential areas of Ouagadougou. Several armed soldiers took up positions along the main street leading to the presidency, blocking access to administrative buildings and national television.

Damiba took power after a military coup on January 24, which ousted former President Roch Kabore and dissolved the government.

He vowed to restore security after years of violence by Islamist militants linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. But his government struggled to deliver. The attacks continue and the army is in disarray.

This week, unknown assailants killed 11 soldiers in an attack on a convoy of 150 vehicles carrying goods to a town in northern Burkina Faso. Fifty civilians are missing.

Large parts of the north and east have become ungovernable since 2018. Millions have fled their homes, fearing further raids by gunmen who often descend on motorbikes into the countryside. Thousands have been killed in attacks.

The West African country, one of the poorest in the world, has become the epicenter of violence that began in neighboring Mali in 2012 but has since spread across the arid expanse of the Sahel region south of the Sahara.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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