Burkina Faso military coup: How the world reacted The UN, the West African bloc ECOWAS, and the African Union condemn power grab by mutinous soldiers. Captain Kader Ouedraogo confirms the coup deta on state television `RTB’ in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on January 24. The army said it seized power ‘without any physical violence against those arrested, who are being held in a safe place, with respect for their dignity.
The army`s removal and detention of Burkina Faso President Roch Kabore after two days of unrest have sparked some celebration among anti-government protesters, and international concern after what was the fourth military coup in West and Central Africa in the past year.
Late on Monday, a group of soldiers calling themselves the Patriotic Movement for Safeguarding and Restoration, led by Lieutenant Colonel PaulHenri Sandaogo Damiba appeared on state television to declare that they were in control of the county. The government and national assembly were dissolved and the constitution suspended, they said, as they also announced an overnight curfew.
What is behind Burkina Faso’s recent military coup attempt?
The whereabouts of Cabore, who won the second term in the 2020 election, are unknown. A military spokesman said the military seized power “respecting their dignity and without physical violence against arrested people detained in safe places.” The Coup is in the midst of an increasingly bloody armed conflict that has killed thousands and expelled millions throughout the Sahel region.
On Tuesday, more than 1,000 people gathered at Ouagadougou’s National Square to celebrate prior to a rally aimed at demonstrating support for the military.
Reuters reporters saw people burning the French flag. This is a sign of growing frustration with the military role that former colonial forces play in the region.
Many have lost confidence in Cabore’s ability to protect the land from fighters. “ECOWAS doesn’t care about us, the international community just wants to blame,” protester Almel Uedraogo said, referring to the West African local parties. “We want it.”
The international response was quick.
UN Prime Minister Antonio Guterres said in a statement that he “strongly condemns attempts to seize power by force,” calling the case a coup. “Coup leaders must lay down their arms & ensure the safety of the President and the protection of the country`s institutions,” he said in a Twitter post.
Even before the army`s statement, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regional bloc and the African Union both condemned what they called an “attempted coup”, saying they held the soldiers responsible for Kabore`s safety.
“ECOWAS is following with great concern the evolution of the political and security situation in Burkina Faso, characterized since Sunday 23 January by an attempted coup d`état,” the organization said in a statement.
Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the African Union Commission, “firmly condemned the coup d`état attempt against the democratically elected president”.
Mahamat called “on the national army and security forces of the country to strictly adhere to their republican vocation, namely the defense of the internal and external security of the country”, a statement said.
The United States said it was “deeply concerned” about developments in Burkina Faso and urged a swift return to civilian rule.
“We condemn these acts and call on those responsible to deescalate the situation, prevent harm to President Kabore and any other members of his government in detention, and return to civilian-led government and constitutional order,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
“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.”
Meanwhile, the European Union`s High Representative Josep Borrell said the bloc was “very worried about the evolution of the situation in Burkina Faso”.
“We call for the respect of the constitutional order and the release of President Kabore,” Borrell said.
French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the coup and said he planned to hold talks on the matter with regional leaders, Radio France International (RFI) reported. Burkina Faso was under French colonial rule until independence in 1960.
Macron also told reporters during his trip to central France on Tuesday that Cabore was “healthy” and not threatened.
The Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was “extremely concerned” about Burkina Faso’s developments and accused the president of the dismissal and the suspension of the Constitution.
[Burkina Faso]’s challenges must be resolved through dialogue, not weapons.”
Sweden’s Foreign Minister Ann Linde attended the ECOWAS, “condemning the attempted coup in Burkina Faso” and called on all parties to find a peaceful solution through dialogue.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also closely tracked recent developments in Burkina Faso in response to a coup d’etat by the state media Global Times, saying, “We will do our utmost to protect the Chinese people.”
Beijing also called for “all political parties in the country peacefully resolve differences and protect national stability through dialogue.”
Embassy warns citizens
The Burkina Faso embassy issued a warning, urging the public to pay attention. The US Embassy in Ouagadougou has announced that it will remain open to the public on Tuesday due to continued security conditions.
He added that a curfew was introduced from 9 pm to 5 am on January 24th. “The embassy has not received any sign that the curfew has been lifted,” he said. According to the embassy, 4,444 land and air border trips were also suspended from 11:59 pm on January 24.