Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré was seized and jailed in a barracks in Ouagadougou on Monday, a day after Islamist violence erupted in military facilities around the country.
A security source verified that “President Kaboré, the Speaker of Parliament (Alassane Bala Sakandé), and ministers are essentially in the hands of troops” at the Sangoulé Lamizana barracks in Ouagadougou.
President Kaboré, who had been in office since 2015 and was re-elected five years later on the promise of prioritizing the anti-jihadist fight, had been increasingly challenged by a populace fed up with jihadist violence and his impotence to address it.
According to African Editors’ sources, a dozen hooded and armed troops were stationed in front of the headquarters of Radio Television of Burkina Faso (RTB), which was transmitting entertainment programs, on Monday morning.
Soldiers in Burkina Faso mutinied on Sunday, demanding the resignation of army leaders and “necessary methods” to combat terrorists who have terrorized the country since 2015.
According to locals, shots were fired near the president’s mansion late in the day, and a helicopter hovered over the area with all lights turned off.
The uprisings took place in a West Africa more destabilized by jihadists who are also attacking neighboring Mali and Niger, as well as in Mali and Guinea, where previous coups have taken place.
Many enraged rallies have taken place in several towns around Burkina Faso in recent months to protest the government’ incapacity to combat the rising number of terrorist assaults, which are frequently outlawed and dispersed by riot police.
- Assistance to mutineers –
Demonstrators backed the mutineers throughout the day on Sunday, setting up temporary barricades in numerous arteries of the city until being cleared by police.
Gunfire may be heard for many hours Sunday in various Burkina Faso barracks, including those at Sangoulé Lamizana, Baba Sy, and the Ouagadougou air base.
According to citizens and military sources, mutinies also occurred in Kaya and Ouahigouya, in the north of Burkina Faso, where the majority of the jihadist attacks are focused.
Although gunshots was heard in numerous barracks, the administration denied that “the army had taken possession.”
President Kaboré declared a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. (local and GMT) on Sunday evening, and the administration stated that schools would be closed on Monday and Tuesday.
“We demand resources appropriate to the battle” against jihadists “and corresponding manpower,” as well as the “replacement” of the national army’s highest ranking officials, according to an audio tape made under the guise of anonymity by a soldier from the Sangoulé Lamizana barracks.