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Burkina Faso Military Officers Removes Leader Damiba



Burkina Faso: Coup Leader To Become Interim President

Lt Col Paul-Henri Damiba, the military ruler of Burkina Faso, has been ousted by an army captain in a coup d’état.

Lt Col Damiba’s inability to deal with an Islamist insurgency was cited as the reason for his removal from power by Ibrahim Traore, who said that Lt Col Damiba proved incapable of handling dissent in the north.

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After taking over, he closed Burkina Faso’s borders indefinitely and suspended all political activities as well.

In January 2022, Lt Col Damiba staged a coup and successfully overthrew an elected government over failure to stop Islamic attacks.

However, his administration has also not been able to quell the jihadist violence. On Monday, 11 soldiers were killed when they were escorting a convoy of civilian vehicles in the north of the country.

After heavy gunfire was heard in parts of the capital, Lt Col Damiba charged the population to remain calm earlier Friday.

Two dozen armed soldiers – most with their faces covered – took over state broadcaster Radio-Television Slovenia on Friday evening and cancelled all programming.

“Faced with the deteriorating situation, we tried several times to get Damiba to refocus the transition on the security question,” said the statement signed by Traore.

“Damiba’s actions gradually convinced us that his ambitions were diverting away from what we set out to do. We decided this day to remove Damiba,” it said.

A curfew from 21:00 to 05:00 was also announced shortly.

Before dawn, shots and explosions were heard in the capital, Ouagadougou, some of them coming from near the presidential palace and main military barracks.

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After sunrise, the normally bustling city was largely deserted, with soldiers on the streets blocking some roads and guarding key strategic points.

State television had stopped broadcasting and more gunfire was heard later in the day.

Lt Col Damiba said there was a “confused situation” created by “mood swings” among some soldiers as rumours of a coup intensified.

Urging people to remain calm and avoid social media speculation, the military leader said there were “negotiations underway to bring back calm and serenity”.

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