Burkina Faso’s military leaders on Friday announced they had ousted military leader Paul-Henri Damiba, dissolved the government and suspended the constitution and transitional charter, reported The Reuters.
In a statement read on national television late on Friday, Captain Ibrahim Traore said Burkina Faso’s army leaders decided to remove Damiba due to his inability to deal with a worsening Islamist insurgency. He announced that borders were closed indefinitely and that all political and civil society activities were suspended. The statement came after a day of uncertainty, with massive gunfire reported in the capital, Ouagadougou.
“In the face of the continuing deterioration of the security situation, we have repeatedly tried to refocus the transition on security issues,” said the statement.
Burkina Faso’s army promised the international community that they would respect their commitments and urged the people “to go about their business in peace.”
This marks the second coup in the troubled West African country this year. Damiba took power in a coup in January that ousted democratically elected president Roch Marc Kabore, citing a failure to halt Islamist attacks.
After coming into power, Damiba promised to make the country more secure, but his failure to control continuing violence brewed frustration among the people in recent months.
Amid growing uncertainties, the United Nations voiced concern and appealed for calm.
UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said Burkina Faso needs peace, stability, and unity in order to fight terrorist groups and criminal networks operating in the country.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) also condemned the coup on Friday, saying that it came at an “inopportune” time when progress was being made towards a return to constitutional order.
“ECOWAS reaffirms its unequivocal opposition to any seizure or maintenance of power by unconstitutional means,” the regional bloc said in a statement shared on social media.