Burkina Faso army captain announces overthrow of military government


FILE PHOTO: Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba, who led Burkina Faso's military coup in January, is sworn in for a second time as president to lead a three-year transition after a national conference approved a transitional charter in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso March 2, 2022. REUTERS/Anne Mimault/File Photo

OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) -Burkina Faso army Captain Ibrahim Traore has ousted military leader Paul-Henri Damiba and dissolved the government in the West African country's second coup in eight months, he said in a statement read on national television on Friday evening.

Traore said a group of officers who helped Damiba seize power in January, had decided to remove their leader due to his inability to deal with a worsening Islamist insurgency. Damiba had ousted former President Roch Kabore in January, in part for the same reason.

The constitution has been suspended and the transitional charter dissolved, borders are closed indefinitely and all political and civil society activities are suspended, Traore said. He declared a curfew from 2100 GMT to 0500 GMT.

"Faced with the deteriorating situation, we tried several times to get Damiba to refocus the transition on the security question," said the statement signed by Traore and read out by another officer on television, flanked by a group of soldiers in military fatigues and heavy armour.

The statement said Damiba had rejected proposals by the officers to reorganise the army and instead continued with the military structure that had led to the fall of the previous regime.

"Damiba's actions gradually convinced us that his ambitions were diverting away from what we set out to do. We decided this day to remove Damiba," it said.

National stakeholders will be invited soon to adopt a new transitional charter and designate a new civilian or military president, it said.

(Writing by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Bate Felix and Sandra Maler)

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