A group of military Patriotic Movement for Salvation and Restoration (MPSR)led by captain Ibrahim Traoré, have deposed this Friday the leader of the board of Burkina Faso and transitional president of the country, Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, in a new coup in the country.
The military, who have defended the coup in the face of the discontent that the country is experiencing due to the insecurity caused by jihadist terrorism, have announced on state television the suspension of the Transitional Government and the Constitution, according to the Burkina 24 news portal. .
The MPSR will continue to lead the country, although with Traoré at its head, who has defended along with the other soldiers that, with this action, they seek to “restore the security and integrity of the territory” in the face of the “continued degradation” of the security situation in the country.
“Due to the continuous degradation of the security situation, we, officers, non-commissioned officers and military personnel of the National Armed Forces, have decided to take responsibility,” he said, reading a statement on state television.
In this sense, it has announced a program of “reorganization” of the Army that will allow the corresponding units to launch counter-offensives. Traoré has highlighted that the leadership and the decisions made by Damiba have compromised “operations of a strategic nature”.
Traoré, accompanied by a group of soldiers dressed in their uniforms and helmets, has thus proclaimed himself leader of the MPSR and has imposed a curfew between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. (local time). In addition, he has suspended political activities throughout the country.
The Burkinabe captain, head of the body of the artillery regiment of the city of Kaya, will later be officially appointed in what is already the fifth coup d’état in Burkina Faso since the coup that Damiba carried out in January, according to the Infowakat news portal.
The riot occurs after the capital of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou, was the scene this Friday of an explosion and intense shooting, which was followed by a major military deployment and the suspension of the broadcasts of the public television network .
The mobilization of soldiers has taken place after an explosion in the vicinity of the capital’s airport, while witnesses quoted by the magazine ‘Jeune Afrique’ have indicated that the shots have also been fired near the Presidential Palace and the Baba Sy base, headquarters of the transitional president.
In this context, the headquarters of the public television network has been surrounded, after which it has suspended broadcasts. Although the broadcasts have returned hours later with general content unrelated to current affairs, they have been cut again shortly after, for unknown reasons.
The confusion about the situation has been increased by the installation of numerous barricades managed by the military in various parts of the city, including around the Presidential Palace, while a group of protesters have taken to the streets of Ouagadougou to demand the resignation of Damiba and the release of Emmanuel Zoungranasuspected of planning an attempted coup prior to the coup that brought Damiba to power.
The country has been controlled by a military junta since January after Damiba’s coup against the then president, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, following a military mutiny in protest at insecurity and the lack of means to confront jihadism.
The African country has generally experienced a significant increase in attacks since 2015, the work of both the Al Qaeda affiliate and the Islamic State in the region. These attacks have also contributed to an increase in inter-community violence and have caused self-defense groups to flourish.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism