Another Military Coup in Burkina Faso

Written by Osetemega Iribiri

October 3, 2022

In the early hours of Friday, September 30, 2022, sounds of gunfire were heard near the Baba Sy military camp, near the presidential palace in Kosyam. Military vehicles were deployed in several strategic locations in Ouagadougou and Radiodiffusion Télévision du Burkina (RTB), the national television station, had its programs interrupted, throwing the nation into a state of confusion. After hours of confusion, on Friday evening, military men in fatigues, bulletproof vests, and red berets, surrounded by hooded and helmeted men, appeared on the Radiodiffusion Télévision du Burkina (RTB). They announced that Captain Ibrahim Traore of the Movement for SafeGuard and Restoration (MPSR) had taken over. Consequently, the new junta dissolved the government, the transitional charter, and the National Assembly. The country’s land and aerial borders have been closed, with a 9 pm to 5 am curfew.

This coup is coming less than a year after Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba’s successful coup on January 24, 2022. Burkina Faso became the epicenter of the violence that began in neighboring Mali in 2012. This violence has now spread across the arid expanse of the Sahel region south of the Sahara Desert. Lt Col. Paul-Henri Damiba took over power with the promise to restore security after years of violence carried out by Islamist militants linked to al Qaeda and the Islamic State. The new government, disappointed at Lt Col. Paul-Henri Damiba’s ability to stabilize security, promised to end the country’s security challenges. At the time of writing this report, Lt Col. Paul-Henri Damiba is at Camp Kamboinsin, the Burkinabe special forces base, and he is said to be doing well.

ECOWAS and the AU have issued a statement condemning the forceful takeover of power by calling it “unconstitutional.” Additionally, Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Chair of the AU, called on the military to restore the “Constitutional order by July 1, 2024, at the latest,” refrain from any violence against civilians, and assured Burkinabes of the continued support of the African Union to ensure peace, stability, and development of the country.

To understand the wave of military coups in West Africa, listen to the Patterson Perspectives.

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