Burkina Faso:  Military Coup Topples Interim Government

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Photo Credit: Nicolas Raymond/Flickr/www.freestock.ca

 

Burkina Faso has found itself in yet another political turmoil. This time, the country’s military has overthrown the interim government, quashing hopes of a smooth transition to a democratic rule in the West African country.

The former French colony was due to hold elections on 11 October. Capital city of Ouagadougou has been affected the worst as people poured into the city’s streets, protesting the coup. Soldiers have reportedly fired warning shots to disperse the crowd. At least ten people have been reported dead.

Last year, people of Burkina Faso had ousted President Blaise Compaoré after he tried to extend his government’s 27-year rule. Compaore’s party had also been accused of trying to disrupt the upcoming elections. The toppling of the former government had given rise of hopes of a democratic rule in the country.

The coup has been orchestrated by the former presidential guard. General Gilbert Diendere, who was Compaore’s chief military adviser for over thirty years, has been named as the head of the new military junta – National Council for Democracy. The junta has already arrested interim President Michel Kafando, Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida, and two ministers, according to Reuters.

“The patriotic forces, grouped together in the National Council for Democracy, have decided today to put an end to the deviant transitional regime,” said a statement read on state television by Colonel Mahamadou Bamba, reports Reuters.

“The transition has progressively distanced itself from the objectives of refounding our democracy,” he added.

France, the United States of America as well as the United Nations have condemned the military coup.

Interim parliament speaker, Cheriff Sy, has urged the people of Burkina Faso to rise up against the military forces, reports The Guardian. Sy has called the arrests of President and Prime Minister as “a serious attack on the republic.”

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