The self-proclaimed leader of Burkina Faso claims that the leader he overthrew in a coup just one day ago is planning a counter-offensive against him. They said that Lieutenant Damiba was making plans for a counterattack due to their own desire to collaborate with new partners in their struggle against the Islamists. The statement did not name these potential new partners, but rights groups allege that troops in neighboring Mali have been working closely with Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group. Despite the fact that both countries deny this allegation, the statement did not name these potential new partners.
Additionally, Col. Ibrahim Traoré accused the French army of harboring Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Damiba at one of its locations; however, France has denied any participation in the incident. On Saturday, shots were fired in Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso, and there have been reports of helicopters flying overhead.
Protesters lit a fire in front of the French embassy, an act that was condemned “with the greatest firmness” by the French capital. A crisis center has been established in Ouagadougou, according to the French Foreign Ministry, which told the AFP news agency that the safety of French citizens is the ministry’s highest priority.
Earlier, witnesses reportedly stated that troops blocked major highways throughout the city, and shops that were open earlier were afterwards closed. People in Burkina Faso’s capital city of Ouagadougou have been voicing their opinions in response to the most recent political event to take place in the country.
A local neighbor, Francois Kaboré, said: “He was no longer capable of managing the security problem. Many people were killed, and an increasing number of lawbreakers headed toward the major cities. Therefore, a great number of individuals were unhappy with that.”
Alidou Pitroipa, an additional citizen, was of the opinion that this was not the appropriate method for resolving differences with political leaders. “If there was an issue between the soldiers, debate it between you so that you can come up with the best answer,” he told them. “The best way to topple the government is not through this method. ” “What this indicates is that you have no idea when this kind of predicament is going to come to an end.”
The head of the African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat, was very worried about the return of illegal coups against elected officials in Burkina Faso, and he called for a return to constitutional order by July 2024 at the latest.
France, which used to be Burkina Faso’s colonial ruler, told its roughly 4,000 and 5,000 citizens in Ouagadougou to stay inside their homes, while the European Union said it was “concerned” about what was happening.
On both occasions, the leaders of the coups claimed that they were compelled to seize power because the situation with the country’s security was so precarious. According to the opinions of several analysts, Burkina Faso controls no more than sixty percent of its territory, and violent Islamist activity is only becoming worse. Because of the violence in the country, over a million people have been forced to flee their homes since the year 2020.
The African Union agreed with the regional group Ecowas that removing leader Lt. Col. Damiba from his position was “unconstitutional,” so they have called for constitutional order to be restored by July 2023 at the latest.
Earlier, Ecowas stated that it was “wrong” for army rebels to grab power while the country was still working towards transitioning to civilian administration. The most recent criticism to come from the international community came from the United Nations (UN), whose chief António Guterres stated that he “strongly condemns” the coup.