Around Burkina Faso’s presidential palace and the offices of the military junta, which took power in a coup in January, shots and a big explosion were reported early on Friday morning. The state broadcaster operates sporadically.
Army troops in Burkina Faso have taken over state television and announced that they have deposed military chief Paul-Henri Damiba, annulled the government and the constitution, and overthrown the transitional charter.
Damiba was fired due to his incapacity to handle a deteriorating Islamist uprising, according to a statement delivered on national television late on Friday by Captain Ibrahim Traore. He said that all political and civil society activities had been dissolved and that the borders had been closed until further notice.
For the west African state, it is the second coup in eight months. Following the overthrow of democratically elected president Roch Marc Kaboré in a coup in January, Damiba came to power.
The violence has continued unabatedly despite Damiba and his colleagues’ promises to increase security in the country, and in recent months, discontent with his leadership has grown.
The announcement followed a day of unrest during which gunfire could be heard in Ouagadougou, the capital.
The statement was read aloud by the soldiers on Friday night and added, “In light of the ongoing breakdown of the security situation, we have repeatedly tried to refocus the transition on security problems. The soldiers vowed to uphold their promises to the international community and advised the Burkinabes “to go about their business in peace.”
The United Nations had expressed worry and urged restraint.
In order to combat terrorist organizations and criminal networks functioning in some sections of the nation, Burkina Faso needs peace, stability, and unity, according to UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.
Despite the military government’s promise to put security first, attacks have intensified since mid-March.
Constantin Gouvy, Burkina Faso researcher at Clingendael, told The Associated Press that Friday night’s events “follow escalating tensions within the ruling MPSR junta and the wider army about strategic and operational decisions to tackle spiralling insecurity”.
After the coup in January, ECOWAS suspended Burkina Faso, but the country later consented to a two-year transition to democratic elections.
It issued a statement saying, “ECOWAS reaffirms its unreserved opposition to any taking or maintaining of the power by unconstitutional means.”