Burkina Faso: Coup d’état fears grow with President Kaboré’s location uncertain

By Jeune Afrique*

Burkina Faso’s President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré in Ouagadougou on 2 March 2019. © Sophie Garcia

Is a coup d’état underway in Burkina? Contradictory information is circulating after the mutinies that have agitated several camps and barracks in the country on Sunday 23 January. The situation of President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré is uncertain.

According to several sources, the Burkinabe head of state was arrested on Sunday night.

The circumstances are however unclear since those close to him said yesterday, while mutinies shook several military camps and barracks in the country, that Roch Marc Christian Kaboré was under the protection of the gendarmerie. He would now be in the Karpala camp in Ouagadougou.

Hooded soldiers

In the early hours of Monday 24 January, gunfire was again heard in the capital, particularly in the Patte d’Oie district, where the residence of the head of state is located.

Hooded soldiers took up positions in front of the headquarters of the national television.

Contacted by telephone, a member of the close entourage of the Burkinabe president said that the Prime Minister, Lassina Zerbo, and several members of the government were also arrested, but he did not specify their place of detention.

Sunday eruptions

Mutinies or an attempted putsch? On Sunday 23, the Burkina authorities quickly wanted to show that the situation was under control. At 8 am, the government published a communiqué calling on the population “to remain calm”.

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