Thursday, 17 September 2015

Tension Rises in Burkina Faso after Coup: Ten Protesters Dead As new leader is Named

There is palpable tension growing in Burkina Faso after soldiers opened fire on citizens protesting outside the presidential palace following Wednesday’s coup in which the presidential guard burst into a cabinet meeting and arrested the interim president and the prime minister.

The presidential guard provided no explanation for its move, coming less than a month before general elections slated for October meant to complete a transition back to democracy after a popular uprising toppled Burkina’s longtime ruler, Blaise Campaore last year.
The soldiers seized the president of Burkina Faso Michel Kafando, the Prime Minister Yacouba Izaac Zida, and the minister of public administration on Wednesday. In a joint statement, the United Nations, African Union and West African regional bloc ECOWAS called for the immediate liberation of the officials and said those responsible would be held to account.
The United States said in a statement it was “deeply concerned” by the events in Burkina Faso and called for the leaders’ immediate release. The presidential guards have however refused to release the hostages, and have responded to protests in front of the presidential palace with force, killing at least 10 citizens, according to civil society representatives who spoke to BBC.
BBC similarly reports that a close ally of former President Blaise Compaore has been named the country’s new leader, quoting state television reports. According to BBC, a statement issued by the coup leaders said Burkina Faso would now be led by Gen Gilbert Diendere, a former chief of staff to Blaise Compaore.

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