Burkina Faso: Military takes power, now coup leader says he’ll hand back power

| September 21, 2015

Download this story

Burkina Faso’s military said last Thursday that it had stripped Interim President Michel Kafando of his functions and dissolved the government. The military seized power less than a month before elections designed to restore democracy in the West African country.

The elite Republican Guard seized Mr. Kafando, Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida, and two ministers. The powerful guard has repeatedly meddled in politics since a popular uprising in October of last year.

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Ouagadougou to protest the seizure of the president and prime minister.

Soldiers violently repressed the protesters. Health workers at the Yalgado Ouedraogo Hospital in Ouagadougou announced on Sunday that 17 people were killed and more than 100 were injured in the crackdown on anti-coup demonstrations in recent days.

On Monday September 21, the military warned that its forces would converge on the capital and forcibly disarm the soldiers behind the power grab.  General Gilbert Diendéré, who seized power in last week’s coup, apologized to the nation and is now saying he would hand over control to a civilian transitional government.

To read more, go to: http://www.trust.org/item/20150917090134-oasxz/, http://lepays.bf/manifs-contre-le-coup-detat-17-morts-et-108-blesses-enregistres-au-chu-yalgado-ouedraogo/ (in French), and http://news.yahoo.com/burkina-faso-military-says-troops-trying-disarm-junta-153647446.html

Photo: Anti-coup protesters shout slogans at the Laico hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, September 20, 2015. Credit: REUTERS/Joe Penney