Buhari condemns coup in Burkina Faso

Protesters in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso
Protesters in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso
Protesters in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso

President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned in very strong term’s Wednesday coup in Burkina Faso.

This was made known in a statement signed by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

At least 10 people have died in protests in the capital, Ouagadougou, after Gen Gilbert Diendere, an ally of ex-President Blaise Compaore was named leader on Thursday.

Interim President Michel Kafando, who was detained when the Presidential Security Regiment (RSP) stormed a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, has been freed and is in good health, the new junta leaders say.

Prime Minister Isaac Zida, who was also detained, was released on Friday but remains under house arrest.

The African Union has suspended Burkina Faso and threatened sanctions unless the junta releases all interim political figures from detention.

Adesina’s statement reads:

President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government of Nigeria unreservedly condemn Wednesday’s detention of the Interim President, the Prime Minister and other ministers of the transitional government of Burkina Faso in an apparent coup d’etat.

President Buhari and Nigeria align with ECOWAS, the African Union and the United Nations in rejecting the brazen contravention of the constitution and transitional charter of Burkina Faso by elements of the Presidential Guard under the leadership of General Gilbert Diendere.

President Buhari and Nigeria urge the Defence and Security Forces of Burkina Faso to keep faith with the agreed transitional programme for the return of the country to full democratic rule after elections, which were due to be held in the country on October 11, in support of which Nigeria has donated 20 pick-up vans to the National Electoral Commission of Burkina Faso.

While welcoming the news that the Interim President, Mr. Michel Kafando has now been freed, President Buhari and Nigeria also demand the immediate release of Prime Minister Isaac Zida and other detained ministers.

Nigeria will give the fullest possible support to ongoing efforts by the ECOWAS mediatory team of President Macky Sall of Senegal and President Boni Yayi of Benin Republic to quickly restore Burkina Faso to the path of order, democracy and constitutionalism.

The President urges the people of Burkina Faso to remain calm and steadfast in support of the transitional order, elections and democratic governance with the full assurance that Nigeria, ECOWAS and the international community will uphold their right to peace, freedom, democracy and good governance.

Meanwhile, Speaker of Burkina Faso’s National Transition Council, Cherif Moumina Sy on Friday issued a statement declaring himself  interim president.

In a message broadcast on a local radio station, Sy equally called for the surrender of the RSP.

He urged the population to come out in large numbers at the “Place of the Nation” to declare war against these soldiers he considered as “terrorists” and an “illegal force” that must be dismantled.

He equally urged the population to block all roads and streets, before starting to march towards Naaba Koom camp, the RSP headquarters.

The operation, he said, was aimed at teaching the putschists a lesson. To achieve this objective, Sy asked the army boss and other military commanders to play their role.