A day after mounting an insurrection, mutineering troops in restive Burkina Faso have arrested President Roch Marc Christian Kabore and imprisoned him in an army barracks, as confirmed by security sources to AFP. ayokinews.com reports
Soldiers at multiple military facilities around the West African country rebelled on Sunday, demanding the dismissal of the military’s top command as well as better funding to combat a brutal Islamist insurgency.
Later that day, gunshots were heard near Kabore’s private mansion in the capital, Ouagadougou, and witnesses claimed to see a helicopter hovering over it.
The atmosphere in the city was tense and confusing, with mobile internet being disconnected on Sunday, making it hard for pressmen to verify allegations of a coup d’état.
Around ten hooded military officers positioned themselves in front of the national broadcaster RTB on Monday, according to an AFP correspondent, but it was unclear if they were among the mutineers or had been ordered in by the government.
Kabore, who was initially elected in 2015 and then re-elected five years later on campaign promises to prioritize the war against the Islamist insurgency, has faced mounting public outrage over the inability to put an end to the slaughter.
According to AFP journalists, a group of soldiers’ supporters put up temporary barricades on numerous major thoroughfares in the city before being removed by police.
Burkina Faso has seen a number of coups and attempted coups. The military deposed the civilian administration in neighboring Mali in 2020, where the insurgency originated before crossing the border.
Despite being a top gold producer, Burkina Faso still remains one of the poorest countries in West Africa.
Islamist terrorists have taken control of large swaths of the nation, forcing inhabitants to follow their draconian interpretation of Islamic law.
The unrest highlights the political ramifications of the Sahel’s increasing insurgency.