A military rebellion in Burkina Faso, and the fate of the country´s president remains ambiguous

Mystery shrouded the fate of Burkina Faso President Marc Christian Kabore on Monday, as security sources reported that he was arrested by soldiers who rebelled against his authority, while government sources confirmed that he escaped from them before they reached him, in a "coup attempt" that rushed the African Union. to denounce it.

Two security sources said that "President Kabore, the speaker of parliament and ministers are effectively in the hands of the soldiers" at the Sangoulé Lamizana barracks in Ouagadougou.
However, a government source confirmed that the country's president fled his residence on Sunday "before the arrival of armed elements who opened fire on the cars of his convoy," noting that "the situation is shrouded in mystery."

What made the situation more ambiguous was that, as of Monday noon, no statement had been issued, either by the rebel soldiers or by the president's surroundings.

For its part, Kabore's party denounced the "failed assassination attempt" of the head of state.

On his Twitter account, Kabore posted on Monday afternoon a message, it was not immediately possible to verify whether he personally wrote it or not.

The letter added that "our contradictions are resolved through dialogue and listening to each other."

Soldiers in many of the country's barracks revolted on Sunday, demanding the dismissal of senior army commanders and giving them the "appropriate means" to fight the jihadists, who have launched since 2015 attacks that have been steadily increasing.

On Monday, West African countries said they were following with "great concern" the developments in the situation in Burkina Faso, in the wake of the "coup attempt".

In turn, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, on Monday expressed his condemnation of the "coup attempt" in Burkina Faso, calling on the army to guarantee the safety of the president and members of his government.

The African Union said in a statement that the Chairperson of the Commission "strongly condemns the coup attempt against the democratically elected President" Roc Marc Christian Kabore.

He added that he "calls on the national army and the country's security forces to strictly adhere to their republican mission, that is, to defend the country's internal and external security."

The head of the commission also called on the army and security forces to ensure the physical safety of the president and members of his government.

For its part, the European Union called for the "immediate" release of the President of Burkina Faso.

President Kabore, who has been in power since 2015 and was re-elected in 2020 on the basis of his promises to prioritize the fight against jihadists, is increasingly protested by the population over the jihadist violence and his inability to confront it.

This development came at a time of increasing jihadist attacks in the region of Burkina Faso, as well as in neighboring Niger and Mali.

On the ground, an AFP reporter on Monday morning saw three cars pierced by bullets, near the president's house in the capital, while one of them showed traces of blood.

The correspondent reported that ten masked and masked soldiers were stationed on Monday morning in front of the Burkina Radio and Television headquarters, which broadcasts entertainment programmes.

Shooting was heard late Sunday near the president's residence in the capital, while eyewitnesses reported that they saw a helicopter hovering over the place.

Angry demonstrations have been taking place for months in a number of Burkina Faso cities to denounce the inability of the authority to respond to repeated jihadist attacks, and they are dispersed or generally banned by riot police.

Throughout Sunday, demonstrators gave their support to the rebels and set up barricades in several areas of the capital before being dispersed by police, AFP anchors reported.

Shooting was heard over the course of hours on Sunday in several barracks in Burkina Faso, including the Sangouli Lamizana barracks, Baba Si and the air base in Ouagadougou.

A rebellion also took place in Kaya and Wahigoya in northern Burkina Faso, where the majority of jihadist attacks are concentrated, according to residents and local sources.
Attacks targeting civilians and military personnel are increasingly frequent, and the majority of them are concentrated in the north and east of the country.

About 2,000 people have been killed, according to an AFP tally, while jihadist violence has forced about 1.5 million people to flee their homes in recent years, according to the national emergency agency, Konasor.

Burkina Faso, located in West Africa with no access to water, is among the world's poorest countries and has not enjoyed much stability since its independence from France in 1960.


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