Military coup in Burkina Faso, president deposed and border closed

Reuters announced on Monday that the West African nation of Burkina Faso was rocked by a military coup Monday. 

According to the news service, soldiers deposed President Roch Kabore before announcing that they would be suspending the country’s constitution and closing off its borders.

The coup plotters are reported to have cited Kabore’s inability to contain the Islamic insurgency that Burkina Faso currently faces.

Some residents welcome it

That information came in a statement signed by Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, and was said to be made on behalf of the Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration, which identifies itself by its French initials MPSR.

Reuters noted that U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed disapproval over the coup, insisting that he “strongly condemns any attempted takeover of government by the force of arms.”

However, there seems to be at least some backing among Burkina Faso’s people for the military takeover. Ibrahim Zare was one of the citizens who demonstrated outside of the Place de la Nation to show his support for the coup attempt.

“We are really happy. We have been out for two days to support the army,” Zare was quoted by Reuters as saying. “We are behind them.”

Eli Sawagogo, a resident of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s capital city, responded positively to news of the coup, saying, “It was expected because the country has been in this situation for six years without a real solution to this terrorism. If a coup is the solution, then it is welcome.”

Deadly history

Islamic extremists have waged a protracted and brutal war in the former French colony. Late last month, ABC News reported that 41 people were killed during an ambush in Loroum province.

Among those to die was Soumaila Ganame, also known as Ladji Yoro. Ganame served as a volunteer anti-insurgent leader and outside observers suggested that his death represented a major blow to the government.

Heni Nsaibia, a senior researcher at the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, was quoted by ABC News as saying that Ganame was known as a “legendary” figure, and “the embodiment of the absent state.”

According to ABC, Ganame’s killing came after more than 50 security personnel were killed in November. Meanwhile, over 160 civilians died in a massacre this past June.

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