Burkina Faso: Junta chief deposed, soldiers announce on television

Burkina Faso: Junta chief deposed, soldiers announce on television

The head of Burkina Faso’s junta, Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, who came to power in a coup in late January, was removed from office by soldiers on Friday night, according to a statement read on national television.

After a day of gunfire in the Ouagadougou presidential district, just before 8 p.m. (GMT and local time), about fifteen soldiers in uniform and some with hoods spoke on the plateau of national radio and television.

“Lt. Col. Damiba will be removed from his position as president of the Patriotic Movement for Protection and Restoration” (MPSR, the ruling body of the junta), the soldiers said in a statement read by a captain.

The country’s new strongman, president-elect of the MPSR, is now captain Ibrahim Traoré, he added.

“We have decided to take our responsibility”

The coup leaders also announced the closure of the country’s land and air borders from midnight, as well as the suspension of the constitution and the dissolution of the government and the Transitional Legislative Assembly.

There is also a curfew from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. The soldiers refer to the “continuous deterioration of the security situation” in the country. “We have decided to take on our responsibilities, driven by a single ideal, restoring the security and integrity of our territory,” they continued.

Mr Damiba promised when he came to power that he would make security his priority in a country that had been undermined by bloody jihadi attacks for years. But these have multiplied in recent months, especially in the north.

Since 2015, repeated attacks by armed movements linked to jihadists al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group, mainly in the north and east of the country, have killed thousands and displaced around two million people.

Reference: www.europe1.fr

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