Breaking News
Close
Investing Pro 0
NEW! Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+ Try 7 Days Free

As soldiers mutiny in Burkina Faso, government dismisses talk of coup

GlobalJan 23, 2022 23:05
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
2/2 © Reuters. People hold a Burkina Faso flag as hundreds gather in downtown Ouagadougou to show support for the military, in Burkina Faso, in this still image taken from video on January 23, 2022. REUTERS TV via REUTERS 2/2

By Thiam Ndiaga and Anne Mimault

OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) - Sustained gunfire rang out from military camps in Burkina Faso on Sunday as mutinying soldiers demanded more support for their fight against Islamist militants and protesters ransacked the headquarters of President Roch Kabore's political party.

The government called for calm, denying speculation on social media that the army had seized power or detained Kabore.

Late on Sunday, it decreed a curfew from 2000 GMT to 0530 GMT until further notice, and issued another statement suspending schools on Monday and Tuesday for security reasons.

A spokesperson for the government said separately that talks were ongoing with the mutinying soldiers.

A spokesperson for the mutineers said they were demanding "appropriate" resources and training for the army in its fight against militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State and the resignation of the army and intelligence chiefs.

Frustration in the West African gold producing country has grown in recent months over deteriorating security. The deaths of 49 military police in a militant attack in November prompted violent protests calling for Kabore to step down.

Demonstrators in the streets of the capital Ouagadougou on Sunday urged the soldiers to go further, chanting "Free the country!"

The mutiny underlines the threat posed by growing Islamist insurgencies across West Africa's Sahel region, a semi-arid strip of land beneath the Sahara Desert.

The militants have seized control of swathes of territory across Burkina Faso and its neighbours, Mali and Niger. In some cases, they force residents to abide by their harsh interpretation of Islamic law.

Heavy gunfire was first heard around 5:00 a.m. (0500 GMT) on Sunday at Ouagadougou's Sangoule Lamizana camp, which houses a prison whose inmates include soldiers involved in a failed 2015 coup attempt, Reuters reporters said.

Hundreds of people later came out in support of the mutineers. At the Lamizana camp, where a crowd of about 100 sang the national anthem and chanted, the soldiers responded by firing into the air. It was not clear whether this was to show support for the demonstrators or to disperse them.

In downtown Ouagadougou, near the Place de la Nation, police fired teargas to disperse around 300 protesters.

Soldiers also fired into the air at an air base close to Ouagadougou International Airport, according to Reuters reporters. The U.S. embassy also reported gunfire at three other military bases in Ouagadougou and at bases in the northern towns of Kaya and Ouahigouya.

Elsewhere in Ouagadougou, protesters burned and looted the headquarters of Kabore's People's Movement for Progress (MPP), a Reuters reporter said.

The spokesperson for the mutineers, who addressed reporters in front of Lamizana camp, called for better welfare for wounded soldiers and their families.

COUP FEARS

Burkina Faso's government confirmed gunfire at some military camps but denied reports on social media that the army had seized power.

Speaking on national television, Defence Minister General Bathelemy Simpore said the reasons for the gunfire were still unclear.

"The head of state has not been detained; no institution of the country has been threatened," Simpore said.

Kabore was not seen in public. His Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) account issued a tweet to encourage Burkina Faso's national soccer team in its Africa Cup of Nations match against Gabon, then congratulated them later for their victory. It made no mention of events at home.

NetBlocks, an internet blockage observatory, said web access had been disrupted as of around 10 a.m. A spokesperson for the airport said flights had not been cancelled.

Governments in West and Central Africa are on high alert for coups after successful putsches over the past 18 months in Mali and Guinea, where the army removed President Alpha Conde last September.

The military also took over in Chad last year after President Idriss Deby died on the battlefield.

The 15-member Economic Community of West African States said in a statement that it was following the situation with great concern, and called on the Burkina military to favour dialogue with the authorities.

Burkinabe authorities arrested a dozen soldiers earlier this month on suspicion of conspiring against the government.

The arrests followed a shake-up within the army's leadership in December, which some analysts saw as an effort by Kabore to shore up his support within the military.

Rising violence in Burkina Faso driven by Islamist attacks killed more than 2,000 people last year.

Anti-government demonstrations were planned for Saturday, but the government banned them and the police intervened to disperse hundreds of people who tried to assemble in Ouagadougou.

The government has suspended mobile internet service on several occasions, and the tense situation in November led the U.N. special envoy to West Africa to warn against any military takeover.

As soldiers mutiny in Burkina Faso, government dismisses talk of coup
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Our Apps
DOWNLOAD APPApp store
Investing.com
© 2007-2022 Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.
Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
  • Sign up for FREE and get:
  • Real-Time Alerts
  • Advanced Portfolio Features
  • Personalized Charts
  • Fully-Synced App
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email