Burkina Faso’s military has announced the removal of president Roch Marc Kaboré, the suspension of the constitution, and the dissolvement of the government and parliament
In a statement signed by coup leader Lt Col Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, the military announced the national takeover by the previously unknown group Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration (MPSR). In the Statement, it was said the “MPSR, which includes all sections of the army, has decided to end president Kaboré’s post today.”
The military has said it was forced to take action due to the deteriorating security of the country which has been greatly impacted by Jihadist violence. In November of last year, a series of attacks by jihadist groups caused the deaths of 48 military police officers and four civilians which renewed protests across the country against Kaboré. Violence has affected the country since 2015, despite the presence of former colonial ruler France. In recent months, France had committed to gradually withdrawing from the country. On 31st January, a week after the coup, fellow Western African nation Mali has ejected their French ambassador.
The televised statement confirmed the coup following the sounds of heavy gunfire at military barracks and the house of Kaboré on 23rd January. The ruling party of the president, the MPP party, has said the president has survived the assassination attempt.
Military coups have become increasingly common in West Africa, with similar takeovers occurring in Guinea, Mali, and Chad last year.
In a statement, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) asked the “military to return to the barracks, to maintain a republican position in favour of dialogue with the authorities to solve these problems.” ECOWAS suspended the country from the economic group but has yet to impose any sanctions.
The African Union has also suspended Burkina Faso, with diplomats from the United Nations and West Africa demanding the restoration of civilian rule.