Burkina Faso: Deposed leader asks coup plotters to 'come to their senses to avoid war'

    Ouagadougou.- The deposed president of Burkina Faso, Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, today asked the coup plotters who overthrew him this Friday "to come to their senses to avoid a fratricidal war."

    A group of soldiers led by Army Captain Ibrahim Traoré staged a coup and deposed Damiba, leader of the military junta in power, whom they accused of being unable to stop the jihadist terrorism that is shaking the country.

    In a statement, Damiba made today "a call to Captain Traoré and company to see reason to avoid a fratricidal war that Burkina Faso does not need in this context."

    In his first public communication since the coup, the lieutenant colonel also denied that he had taken refuge in the Kamboissin military base, located in the north of the Burkina Faso capital, Ouagadougou, which houses French troops from Operation Barkhane (led by France), that fights jihadism in the Sahel.

    "I formally deny having taken refuge in the French base of Kamboincé (as the name of that camp is also spelled). It is just an intoxication to manipulate opinion," he alleged.

    "The tragic events that our country is going through at the moment - he insisted - are at the origin of the dissemination of false information, skilfully orchestrated and distilled with the aim of manipulating the populations, instrumentalizing them for foreign causes and to the detriment of the superior interest of the nation".

    Finally, Damiba urged the civilian population to "stay calm at home."

    Speaking on RTB state television, Sub-Lieutenant Jean-Baptiste Kabré, on behalf of Traoré, the country's new strongman, earlier announced that Damiba "had taken refuge in the French base of Kamboinssin to plan a counteroffensive."

    However, the French Embassy denied "any involvement of the French Army" in the events, as well as rumors that the deposed authorities "have been welcomed or are under the protection of French soldiers."

    The Chief of the General Staff of the Burkina Faso Army, Colonel David Kabre, today urged "all parties to remain calm and moderate in order to give the opportunity for a negotiated solution to the crisis."

    Burkina Faso has suffered frequent jihadist attacks since April 2015, committed by groups linked to both Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, whose actions particularly affect the north of the country.

    In November 2021, an attack on a Gendarmerie post caused 53 deaths -49 gendarmes and 4 civilians-, which generated great social discontent that translated into strong protests demanding the resignation of the Burkinabe president, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré.

    A few months later, on January 24, the military led by Damiba seized power in a coup - the fourth in West Africa since August 2020 - and deposed the president.


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    Evarist Chahali

    Evarist Chahali

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