Hundreds of people, some waving Russian flags and supporting a coup by Burkina Faso’s self-declared military leader Captain Ibrahim, gathered in protest in front of the French embassy on Saturday and Sunday (1 and 2 October), throwing stones and burning tires and debris .
Damiba could not be reached for comment. A close family member told Reuters he left the country on Sunday.
🔴🇧🇫#BurkinaFaso: is Russia involved in the situation that prevails in Burkina? Dans la nuit du 1er au 2 de octubre, les putschistes, que ont sorti les blindés dans la ville de Ouagadougou, ont été aperçus en train d’agiter, non pas le drapeau 🇧🇫, mais celui de la Russie. pic.twitter.com/p9V6Of8jRX
— LSI AFRICA (@lsiafrica) October 2, 2022
At least three separate videos shared on online on Saturday and Sunday showed soldiers atop armored personnel carriers, waving Russian flags, while the crowd around chanted “Russia! Russia!” Reuters has not verified the videos.
The French foreign ministry denied the base had hosted Damiba after his ouster on Friday. Damiba also denied he was at the base, saying the reports were a deliberate manipulation of public opinion.
“We invite you to continue with your activities and refrain from all acts of violence and vandalism… notably that against the French embassy and the French military base,” the officer loyal to Traore said, urging people to remain calm.
Damiba himself led a coup earlier this year against a civilian government that had lost support over rising violence by Islamist extremists. Damiba’s failure to stop the militant groups had led to anger in the ranks of the armed forces in the former French protectorate.
Protesters in Ouagadougou carrying the Russian flag, believing Moscow can help the Burkinabe army defeat terrorist groups. Burkina Faso is the second country in the SAHEL region to suspend French operations in the country after Mali. pic.twitter.com/fsNesOuQIQ
— THE TRUTH PANTHER (@SANDILE_PANTHER) October 2, 2022