Burkinabé President Kaboré detained in a military camp, according to security sources

  • Heavy shooting in the night around the presidential residence
  • President’s exact location unknown, no news from army
  • Burkina Faso struggles to quell Islamist insurgency
  • Protesters decried the high toll of the security forces

OUAGADOUGOU, Jan 24 (Reuters) – Burkina Faso’s President Roch Kabore was arrested at a military camp by mutinying soldiers, four security sources and a West African diplomat said on Monday, following heavy gunfire. around his residence on Sunday evening in the capital Ouagadougou.

His detention comes after sustained gunfire rang out from military camps in the West African country throughout Sunday as soldiers demanded more support for their fight against Islamist militants. The government had denied that the army had taken power.

Kaboré’s exact whereabouts were unknown Monday morning, with conflicting reports circulating among diplomatic and security sources.

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com


Several armored vehicles from the presidential fleet, riddled with bullets, could be seen near the presidential residence. One of them was spattered with blood. Residents of the President’s Quarter reported heavy gunfire overnight.

Three armored vehicles and soldiers wearing balaclavas were stationed outside the state broadcaster’s headquarters.

Government sources could not immediately be reached on Monday.

The French Embassy, ​​in a message on its website, advised French nationals in Burkina Faso not to go out during the day for non-essential reasons, if at all at night.

“The situation remains quite confused,” he said, adding that two Air France flights scheduled for Monday evening had been canceled and that French schools would remain closed on Monday and Tuesday.


Bullet holes are seen in a car belonging to the presidency following heavy gunfire near President Roch Kabore’s residence in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso January 24, 2022. REUTERS/Thiam Ndiaga

Read more

Kaboré has faced waves of street protests in recent months as frustration mounts over the frequent killing of civilians and soldiers by militants, some of whom have links to Islamic State and al-Qaeda.

A militant attack in November on a gendarmerie post in Inata, in the northern region of Soum, killed 49 military police officers and four civilians. It later emerged that the forces stationed there had run out of food and had been forced to slaughter animals in the surrounding area for two weeks. Read more

Demonstrators came out in support of the mutineers on Sunday and ransacked Kaboré’s political party headquarters. The government has decreed a curfew from 8:00 p.m. GMT to 05:30 GMT until further notice and closed schools for two days.

The unrest in Burkina Faso comes after successful military putsches over the past 18 months in Mali and Guinea, where the military deposed President Alpha Condé last September. Read more

The army also took over in Chad last year after President Idriss Deby was killed on the battlefield.

Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in West Africa despite being a gold producer.

Islamist militants control swaths of the country and have forced people in some areas to abide by their harsh version of Islamic law, while the military’s struggle to quell the insurgency has drained scarce national resources. Read more

Shaken by street protests, Kaboré pledged in November to end the ‘dysfunction’ of the army, saying an investigation into Inata’s attack would be followed by disciplinary action and he would launch a campaign anti Corruption. Read more

Some of the anger in Burkina Faso late last year was also directed at France’s former colonial ruler, who deployed thousands of troops to West Africa’s Sahel region to fight the militants. Read more

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com


Reporting by Thiam Ndiaga and Anne Mimault; Additional reporting by David Lewis and Nellie Peyton; Written by Bate Felix and Estelle Shirbon; Editing by Peter Graff, Alex Richardson, William Maclean

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


Comments are closed.