Breaking: Gunshots Fired As Soldiers Detained President, Ask Him To Sign Resignation Letter

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Breaking News

Mutinous troops in restive arrested on Monday and detained him in army barracks a day after staging an uprising, security sources told .

Soldiers at several army bases across the West African country rose up on Sunday, demanding the dismissal of the military’s top brass as well as more resources to combat a bloody jihadist insurgency.

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Later that day, gunshots were heard near Kabore’s private residence in the capital, Ouagadougou, and witnesses said they saw a helicopter flying overhead.

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At the Sangoule Lamizana barracks in the capital Ouagadougou, “President Kabore, the head of parliament, and the ministers are effectively in the hands of the soldiers,” a security source said, with another source confirming the arrest.

The situation in the capital was tense and confusing, with mobile internet being cut on Sunday, making it difficult to verify rumours of a coup d’état.

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Around ten hooded troops posted themselves in front of the national broadcaster RTB on Monday, according to an AFP journalist, but it was unclear whether they were from the mutineers or had been sent in by the government.

Kabore, who was first elected in 2015 and then re-elected five years later on campaign promises to prioritize the fight against the jihadist insurgency, has faced mounting public outrage over the failure to put an end to the bloodshed.

According to AFP journalists, a group of soldiers’ supporters set up makeshift roadblocks on several major streets in the capital before being dispersed by police.

In Burkina Faso, there have been several coups or attempted coups. The military overthrew the civilian government in neighboring Mali in 2020, where the insurgency began before crossing the border.

– Soldier demands – Burkina Faso’s latest unrest began on Sunday morning, when gunshots were heard at several military bases, including two in Ouagadougou.

The insurgents presented a list of demands that emphasized the need for a better anti-jihadist strategy but did not include an attempt to overthrow Kabore.

In a voice recording obtained by AFP, a soldier from the Sangoule Lamizana base in Ouagadougou said, “We want adequate resources for the battle” against Islamist extremists.

Top generals should be “replaced,” as well as better care for wounded troops and more support for the families of soldiers killed in battle, according to the mutinous troops’ spokesman in the anonymous recording.

According to a government source, talks between soldiers’ representatives and Defence Minister General Barthelemy Simpore came to a halt.

Police used tear gas to disperse banned protests against the government’s anti-jihadist strategies on Saturday, ahead of signs of soldier mutiny, arresting dozens.

Then, on Sunday, demonstrators set fire to the ruling party’s headquarters.

– Government denials – The government had denied a “army takeover” before reports of the president’s arrest.

Authorities declared an overnight curfew from 8:00 p.m. (2000 GMT) Sunday “until further notice” in response to the unrest, and the education ministry announced that schools would be closed Monday and Tuesday.

General Gilbert Diendere, a former right-hand man of deposed president Blaise Compaore, is serving a 20-year sentence for an attempted coup in 2015. Kabore is being held at the Sangoule Lamizana camp, which also houses a military prison where General Gilbert Diendere, a former right-hand man of deposed president Blaise Compaore, is serving a 20-year term for an attempted coup in 2015.

Diendere is also facing charges for his alleged role in the assassination of Thomas Sankara, the country’s revolutionary leader, in 1987, during a coup that brought Compaore to power.

Compaore fled to Ivory Coast after being deposed by a popular uprising in 2014, and is being tried in his absence for the assassination.

The latest turbulence coincides with a jihadist insurgency that swept into Burkina Faso from Mali in 2015, overwhelming the country’s under-equipped and under-trained armed forces.

According to an AFP count, around 2,000 people have died, with 1.5 million people internally displaced, according to the national emergency agency CONASUR.

AFP

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