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Burkina coup-makers accuse France of supporting counterattack

France ‘firmly denies’ any involvement of its army in an alleged counteroffensive concept by toppled chief Damiba.

Printed On 1 Oct 2022

The military officers who seized energy in Burkina Faso boom toppled army chief Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba is planning a counteroffensive from a “French inferior”.

Gunshots rang out Saturday within the capital Ouagadougou amid indicators of lingering tensions, a day after the officers overthrew the man who seized energy in a coup handiest 9 months earlier.

“[Damiba] is believed to maintain taken refuge within the French inferior at Kamboinsin in give away to devise a counteroffensive to tear up worry in our defence and security forces,” the coup-makers acknowledged in a commentary read on nationwide television and signed by Captain Ibrahim Traore, the nation’s new chief.

An hour sooner than the televised feedback, the French embassy issued a commentary “firmly denying any involvement of the French army within the events”. It also denied “rumours that Burkinabe authorities were hosted or are below the protection of French army”.

France is Burkina Faso’s used coloniser.

Furious protesters attacked the French embassy in Ouagadougou slack Saturday. Video on social media showed residents with lit torches out of doors the perimeter and varied photos showed fraction of the compound ablaze.

In Burkina Faso’s 2d-largest city, Bobo-Dioulasso, angry crowds also vandalised the French Institute.

The coup

In a commentary printed on the Burkinabe presidency’s reliable Facebook online page on Saturday, Damiba – whose whereabouts remain unknown – entreated his rivals “to approach inspire to their senses to steer certain of a fratricidal struggle that Burkina Faso doesn’t need”.

On Friday, pre-daybreak gunfire erupted spherical the presidential palace. The presidency’s head of communications posted on Facebook that negotiations were below intention to restore still.

Inside hours, a dozen troopers in fatigues appeared on the express television and radio broadcaster to notify Damiba’s removal.

The new leaders rapid suspended the structure, sealed the borders, dissolved the transitional govt and legislative assembly and instituted a 9pm to 5am curfew.

‘Stare dialogue’

The executive of workers of Burkina Faso’s army known as on opposing factions to stop hostilities and proceed talks, calling the worry “an internal crisis at some stage within the National Armed Forces”.

Traore became beforehand head of “Cobra”, a varied forces unit within the northern location of Kaya.

UN Secretary-Total Antonio Guterres condemned the seizure of energy and known as “on all actors to chorus from violence and mediate dialogue”, his spokesman acknowledged in a commentary.

“Burkina Faso wants peace, steadiness and cohesion to fight terrorist groups and criminal networks operating in ingredients of the nation,” it acknowledged.

Damiba came to energy in a coup in January. He installed himself as chief of the nation of 16 million after accusing elected President Roch Marc Christian Kabore of failing to push inspire armed groups.

With well-known of the Sahel location scuffling with a rising rise up, the violence has precipitated a series of coups in Chad, Guinea and Mali since 2020.

France has a army presence in Burkina Faso, with a contingent of special forces primarily based in Kamboinsin, 30km (19 miles) from Ouagadougou.

New Military Leader Of Burkina Faso, Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba, delivers a speech in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, January 27, 2022, in this screengrab taken from video.
Paul-Henri Damiba came to energy in a coup in January [File: Reuters]

Stressful worry

The concern in Ouagadougou became stressful on Saturday. Helicopters hovered above town and outlets that had opened for enterprise within the morning shut their doors.

The European Union and the African Union (AU) added their voices to a chorus of world condemnation of the 2d coup this year within the restive West African nation.

“The chairperson calls upon the military to straight and entirely chorus from any acts of violence or threats to the civilian inhabitants, civil liberties, human rights,” the AU acknowledged in a commentary.


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