There is confusion and chaos brewing in Burkina Faso on Thursday as military officers loyal to the ousted former president, Blaise Compaoré, overthrew the interim government led by Michel Kafando.
Supporters of the overthrown president Michel Kafando and prime minister Isaac Zida gathered in the morning to protest the military coup, calling for the release of the ousted leaders. Military forces who have taken over strategic points in the capital, fired some warning shots to disperse the protesters.
Trouble started when members of the military stormed the cabinet session of the ousted leader and abducted the president alongside the prime minister and other influential cabinet members. A radio station that reported the events of the 2014 uprising was also burnt down after the journalists were forced to end transmission.
A military spokesman, Lt. Col. Mamadou Bamba, made a TV broadcast this morning on behalf of a organization he referred to as “the National Council for Democracy” led by Gen. Gilbert Diendéré, a known associate of former president Blaise Compaoré who was forced out of office last year in a massive nationwide protest.
In his broadcast, Colonel Bamba appealed for calm and said the interim government was removed because it had deviated from the goals of the october 2014 revolution. He added that the overthrown government was abusing the military “for personal ends”, limiting press freedom,
He also said the security forces had been unfairly “politicized and manipulated” in a security environment “characterized by terrorism and organized crime.”
Col. Bamba further announced that the National Transition Council was also dissolved with immediate effect
Reacting to the development, The french president said he “strongly condemns the coup d’état that has taken place” and “calls for the immediate liberation of all those arrested, for the interim authorities to be put back in place and for the continuation of the electoral process,”.
The whereabout of the overthrown president and some of his cabinet members remains unknown. The head of the National Transition Council released a press statement calling the coup a “serious attack on the republic and its institutions.” He called on “all patriots to defend the motherland.”