Global outrage against coup in Burkina Faso
UN, AU, France demand Kafando’s reinstatement
THE United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, French President, Francois Hollande, and the African Union (AU) yesterday condemned the coup in Burkina Faso and detention of the country’s Interim President Michel Kafando and Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida.
Some ministers of state were also said to have been detained by the Régiment de Sécurité Présidentielle in Ouagadougou. Presidential guard officers in Burkina Faso had seized power in a coup, with shooting reported in the capital, Ouagadougou.
A statement issued by the coup leaders said the West African state would be led by Gen. Gilbert Diendere, ousted President Blaise Compaore’s former chief-of-staff. Compaore was removed in a popular uprising last year after 27 years in power, and is currently in exile.
An earlier announcement on state television said wide-ranging talks would be held to form a new interim government that would organise “peaceful and inclusive elections.”
A statement from the office of the Secretary-General of the UN yesterday expressed outrage and described the incident as a flagrant violation of the country’s constitution and transitional charter.
Ki-moon said: “The United Nations stands firmly behind the transitional authorities and President Kafando. The Secretary-General notes the strong support of the people of Burkina Faso for a peaceful transition and urges compliance with the transitional calendar, including the upcoming elections.
“His Special Representative for West Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, is already in Ouagadougou and working closely with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union and other international partners to support and safeguard the transition in Burkina Faso.”
French President, Hollande, had condemned the coup in the former French colony. He called for immediate release of interim President Kafando and Prime Minister Zida, who were detained at a cabinet meeting in the presidential palace on Wednesday.
The AU also threatened Burkina Faso with sanctions unless power is handed over to civilians, and an agreement is reached on a transitional period.
The global reactions from the AU, Ki-moon and Hollande followed initial statement from Transitional parliamentary speaker, Cheriff Sy, who said the move was “clearly a coup.” He said the presidential guard had “sequestrated” the interim government, and he urged the people to protest on the streets.
“We are in a resistance situation against adversity,” he added.
Earlier, there was heavy shooting by presidential forces at the capital’s Revolution Square, where protesters had gathered to demand release of the interim leaders. Hundreds of people also protested on Wednesday to demand their release.