AFRICA/BURKINA FASO - The military junta introduces itself: the UN condemns the coup

Tuesday, 25 January 2022 military   coup  

Ouagadougou (Agenzia Fides) - The soldiers who overthrew the government of Burkina Faso were seen on national television yesterday, January 24, as they had previously announced (see Fides, 24/1/2022). The spokesperson for the coup leaders, Captain Sidsoré Kader Ouedraogo, flanked by about 13 military officers, confirmed that President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré had been overthrown. Ouedraogo also announced that Burkina Faso's constitution was suspended, the government dissolved and the country's borders closed, and that President Kaboré and other politicians would be kept in a safe place and "their dignity would be respected".
The military junta, led by Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, the commander of the third military region in the east of the country, calls itself the "Mouvement Patriotique pour la Sauvegarde et la Restauration" (MPSR). A graduate of the Paris Military School, he holds a master's degree in forensic science from the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM) in Paris and a certificate as Defense Expert in Management, Leadership and Strategy. The officer is a former member of the Praetorian Guard of Blaise Compaoré, the former strongman in Burkina Faso who was ousted on October 31, 2014 after four days of popular protests. The lieutenant colonel is the author of a book published in France in 2021 on the response of West African armies to jihadist terrorism threatening countries in the region. The insecurity and the lack of suitable means to deal with this Islamist violence were now also the cause of the uprising of the soldiers, who then carried out the coup d'état. The population, weighed down by the economic crisis and the insecurity caused by the jihadists, seems to have welcomed the coup d'état with caution.
There are currently no reports of violence or protests. On the contrary, a demonstration in favor of the military junta was announced. The United Nations, the Economic and Development Community of West Africa (ECOWAS/ECOWS) and France have condemned the coup and called for the immediate release of President Kaboré and other figures held by the military. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 25/1/2022)