The President of Burkina Faso Roch Marc Christian Kaboré was arrested on Monday and was detained in a barracks in Ouagadougou, the day after mutinies in military camps in this country plagued by jihadist violence. “President Kaboré, the head of Parliament and ministers are indeed in the hands of soldiers” at the Sangoulé Lamizana barracks in Ouagadougou, a security source said.
A coup in progress?
On Monday morning, hooded soldiers took up position in front of Burkina Faso’s national television headquarters. The situation was confused and tense Monday in Ouagadougou, where the poor quality of telephone connections and the cut off of mobile internet since Sunday, did not facilitate the verification of rumors circulating in the city concerning an ongoing coup.
Soldiers mutinied on Sunday in several barracks in Burkina Faso to demand the departure of army leaders and “appropriate means” to fight against the jihadists who have struck this country since 2015. Shots were heard at the end of the day near the residence of the Head of State, accused by a large part of the population, exasperated by the violence, of being “incapable” of countering the jihadist groups.
These mood swings in the barracks of Burkina, a country that has experienced several coups d’etat and putsch attempts in the past, illustrate the fragility of President Kaboré’s power in the face of the jihadist violence that is increasing in his country and that he can’t counter it.
In power since 2015, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré was re-elected in 2020 on the promise to make the anti-jihadist fight his priority. Several angry demonstrations have been taking place for several months in several cities in Burkina Faso, often banned and dispersed by riot police. Throughout the day on Sunday, demonstrators gave their support to the mutineers and erected makeshift roadblocks in several avenues of the capital, before being dispersed by the police.