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Military coup in Burkina Faso overthrows the president

The military in Burkina Faso announced on national TV that the government has been overthrown and a new regime has been established.

The military in Burkina Faso, which yesterday arrested President Michel Kafando and Prime Minister Isaac Zida, has announced the government destitution. The news has been released by the Lieutenant-Colonel Mamadou Bamba who appeared on the national television to declared that a new “National Democratic Council” had put an end “to the deviant regime of transition”. Moreover, according to the news agency AFP, shots have been heard in the capital Ouagadougou: a curfew was declared and borders were closed.

 

According to international press, the guards leading the coup were apparently allies of the country’s former President Blaise Compaoré, who – after 27 years – was toppled in October, following popular protests. The council is now led by Gilbert Diendéré, who assumed the power. The military explained that the decision of overthrowing Kafando is linked to the ban imposed to Compaoré to run for the presidential elections, to be held on 11 October. The law makes ineligible all the people who supported the attempt of the former president to modify the constitution (fact that triggered protests and the deposition of Compaoré).

 

Compaoré ex presidente Burkina Faso

 

The military has announced the beginning of a “coherent, fair and equitable process” that would lead to inclusive elections. In an interview with the French radio RFI, the President of the transitional assembly Chérif Sy denounced the coup, making a plea for popular mobilisation. The streets of the capital Ouagadougou remain empty and controlled by soldiers, who built defence barriers around the presidential building.

 

From the international community comes unanimous disapproval: the United Nations Security Council, the African Union, and the Economic Community of West African States claimed the immediate release of Kafando.  The request has been supported by the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, who underlined how the current events in Burkina Faso threaten the transition towards elections.

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