Friday, 10 October 2003

Ouagadougou (Fides Service) – An attempted military coup in Burkina Faso was foiled. According to local sources contacted by Fides Service in Ouagadougou the capital, the police have arrested 12 soldiers of the Presidential Guard and one civilian Pascal Israle Pare, pastor of a church not recognized by the Union of Protestant Churches. Fides sources say “the rebel military chief is said to have hanged himself in his prison cell, but people give little credit to this official version”.
The presumed coup leaders were arrested on 7 October before they had time to complete their plan to overthrow the government. Police officer Abdoulaye Barry in charge of investigating the event, says the rebels were supported by at least one foreign state. “In fact national television has said the coup was organised with the support of Ivory Coast and Togo. In fact the government version is that the military visited these two countries several times in recent weeks with the intention of destabilising Burkina Faso” say Fides sources adding “However the truth is difficult to ascertain”.
“The situation is calm, people are at work as usual” Fides sources add. “In the capital the only new thing is that there are more soldiers around guarding strategic points, the President’s House, national radio studies, French embassy and major road junctions”.
Burkina Faso has been accused by Ivory Coast of supporting rebels in Ivory Coast and supplying arms to former Liberian President Charles Taylor. “In the game of reciprocal influence in the region someone might have decided to warn Burkina Faso to stop supporting activities to destabilise neighbouring nations” Fides sources conclude. LM (Fides Service 10/10/2003 EM lines 26 Words: 299)