from ISSOUF TRAORE in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
OUAGADOUGOU, (CAJ News) – THE coup in Burkina Faso is exacerbating the security situation in a country beset by an Islamist insurgency and ethnic clashes.
Mutinous soldiers, led by Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba (41), took over power during anarchy that started on Sunday when gunfire erupted in front of the presidential residence in the capital, Ouagadougou, and several military barracks around the city.
President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré (64), in power since 2015, has reportedly been detained.
The military on Monday declared that the parliament, government and constitution had been dissolved.
Ned Price, United States Department of State spokesperson, said the country was deeply concerned by events in the West African country.
The US acknowledged the stress on Burkinabé society and security forces posed by Islamic State (ISIS) and Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM).
Price however urged military officers to step back, return to their barracks and address their concerns through dialogue.
“The United States is closely monitoring this fluid situation, and we call for restraint by all actors as we carefully review the events on the ground for any potential impact on our assistance,” he said.
A spokesperson for António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General , said the UN chief was worried about the coup and the worsening security situation.
“The Secretary-General strongly condemns any attempt to take over a Government by the force of arms,” the spokesperson said.
“He calls on the coup leaders to lay down their arms and to ensure the protection of the physical integrity of the President and of the institutions of Burkina Faso.”
Guterres pledged the UN’s efforts to help the country find solutions to the multifaceted challenges facing the country.
This is the fourth coup suffered by the former Upper Volta since the first in 1983, decades after gaining independence from France.
Ethnic conflict has occurred perennially in the country of over 21 million people.
Terror attacks have escalated since 2016.
– CAJ News