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BY Abena Agyeman-Fisher, 8:57am September 17, 2015,

Military Take Over Interim Burkina Faso Government in Coup

Gilbert Diendere

After successfully appointing an interim government in Burkina Faso ahead of November’s elections, the military have dragged the nation backward with a coup, reports the BBC.


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Last October, Burkinabes celebrated in the streets of capital Ouagadougou over the victory of forcing then-President Blaise Compaore to step down after 27 years of rule and a failed attempt to seek a fifth term.

See photos of Burkinabes protesting Compaore’s fifth term here:


But by November, both Burkinabes and the international community were put on edge, after Lt. Col. Isaac Zida (pictured) named himself the country’s interim leader, instantly transforming Burkina Faso from civilian to military rule.

Isaac Zida

Burkina Faso’s Lieutenant-Colonel Isaac Zida attends a press briefing at the end of a meeting with the country’s military commanders at the military headquarters in Ouagadougou on November 1, 2014. Burkina Faso’s army named Zida to lead a transition government after a coup toppled long-ruling president Blaise Compaore. Zida, who beat out a rival claim by the west African nation’s army chief to fill the power vacuum, vowed to work closely with civil society. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGOISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images

Days later, President of Ghana John Mahama, President of Senegal Macky Sall, and then-President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan flew in to the capital to ensure that Col. Zida handed over power.

The meeting was successful and a transitional government was agreed to by all members.

But on Wednesday, Gen. Gilbert Diendere (pictured top), former chief of staff of deposed President Compaore, named himself the new leader of the nation.

Diendere reportedly seized power, after presidential guard officers detained interim President Michel Kafando and Prime Minister Zida during a cabinet meeting at the presidential palace.

Reporting on the presidential guard, the BBC says:

The elite presidential guard has been trained, in part, by the US. It is the most powerful armed group in Burkina Faso and often disrupted the activities of the transitional government as it tried to cling to the privileges it enjoyed under Mr Compaore’s rule.

It is seen to be close to him, and is not popular on the streets. So its seizure of power could be a recipe for serious violence.

The presidential guard are already reportedly responsible for heavy shooting in the capital since the coup occurred.

In reaction, French President Francois Hollande condemned the coup and demanded the immediate release of President Kafando and Prime Minister Zida, while transitional Parliamentary Speaker Cheriff Sy encouraged people to take to the streets in protest, saying, “We are in a resistance situation against adversity.”

Burkinabes protest military takeover on Thursday.

Burkinabes protest military takeover

Burkina Faso

Protesters chant slogans against the presidential guard in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Sept. 16, 2015. (Joe Penney/Reuters)

The transitional government may have erroneously spurred the coup with certain “mistakes.

The BBC reports:

The transitional government might have made two mistakes – preventing politicians loyal to Mr Compaore from running in next month’s elections and allowing the Reconciliation Commission, formed to heal wounds after the end of his authoritarian rule, to release a report calling for the presidential guard to be disbanded.

The new government has reportedly closed all air and land borders and have imposed a night-time curfew across the nation.

RELATED: Fed Up With President Seeking 5th Term, Burkina Fasoan Protestors Set Fire to Parliament

Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: September 15, 2018


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