Saturday, May 21

Burkina: shots heard near the residence of President Kaboré

Shots were heard late Sunday in Ouagadougou near the residence of Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, president of Burkina Faso plagued by jihadist violence, where mutinies took place in several barracks, residents reported. AFP.

A helicopter, with all lights off, also flew over the Patte d’Oie district where the residence is located, when the shooting took place which, at first heavy, then became more sporadic, according to residents of the district. .

Intense gunfire was also heard by residents almost at the same time in the Sangoulé Lamizana and Baba Sy military camps in the Burkinabè capital.

Soldiers mutinied on Sunday in several barracks in Burkina Faso, including those of Sangoulé Lamizana and Baba Sy, to demand the departure of army chiefs and “appropriate means” to fight against jihadists.

Mutinies have also taken place at the Ouagadougou air base, as well as in Kaya and Ouahigouya, in northern Burkina where the majority of jihadist attacks are concentrated, according to residents and military sources.

The government reacted by recognizing these shots in several barracks, however denying “a takeover by the army”.

Sunday evening, President Kaboré, decreed “until further notice”, from Sunday, a curfew from 8:00 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. (local and GMT).

“We want means adapted to the” anti-jihadist “struggle and substantial staff”, as well as the “replacement” of the highest ranking officers of the national army, indicates in an audio recording sent to AFP a soldier of the Sangoulé Lamizana barracks, on condition of anonymity.

He also wished “better care for the wounded” during the attacks and the fighting with the jihadists, as well as “the families of the deceased”.

This soldier did not demand the departure of Burkinabe President Roch Christian Kaboré, accused by a large part of the population, exasperated by violence, of being “incapable” of countering jihadist groups.

In power since 2015, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré was re-elected in 2020 on the promise to make the anti-jihadist fight his priority.

– Scattered demonstrations –

Several angry demonstrations have been taking place for several months in several cities in Burkina Faso, often banned and dispersed by riot police.

The mutineers’ claims were confirmed by other military sources and discussions took place between representatives of the mutineers and Defense Minister General Barthélémy Simporé, according to a government source. Nothing had filtered Sunday evening on the content of the meeting.

Throughout the day, demonstrators gave their support to the mutineers and set up makeshift roadblocks in several avenues of the capital, before being dispersed by the police, noted AFP journalists.

The Sangoulé Lamizana camp is home to the Armed Forces Prison and Correctional Center (Maca) where General Gilbert Diendéré, close to former President Blaise Compaoré who was overthrown in 2014, who has since lived in Côte d’Ivoire, is detained.

General Diendéré was sentenced to 20 years in prison for an attempted coup in 2015 against President Kaboré, and is currently on trial for his alleged role in the assassination of former President Thomas Sankara, a pan-African icon, in 1987.

Like neighboring Mali and Niger, Burkina Faso is caught in a spiral of violence attributed to armed jihadist groups, affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

Attacks targeting civilians and soldiers are increasingly frequent and mostly concentrated in the north and east of the country.

The violence of jihadist groups has killed more than 2,000 people in nearly seven years and forced 1.5 million people to flee their homes.

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