Burkina Faso junta says it thwarted coup attempt

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso’s military junta said on Wednesday that a coup attempt had been thwarted the previous day by security and intelligence services, without providing specifics on what had happened.

In a statement, it said, “a proven coup attempt was foiled on Sept. 26, 2023 by Burkina Faso’s intelligence and security services.

“At present, officers and other alleged participants in this destabilisation attempt have been arrested and others are being actively sought”.

It said the alleged perpetrators “had the sinister intention of attacking the institutions of the Republic and plunging the country into chaos”.

Junta leader Capt. Ibrahim Traore seized power on Sept. 30, 2022, the landlocked country’s second coup in eight months.

The two takeovers were each triggered in part by discontent at failures to stem a raging jihadist insurgency that swept in from neighbouring Mali in 2015.

Late on Tuesday thousands of people took to the streets of the capital Ouagadougou following a call from Traoré supporters to “defend” him amid rumours of a coup on social media.

The military government said it would seek to shed “all possible light on this plot”.

It said it “regrets that officers whose oath is to defend their homeland have strayed into an undertaking of this nature, which aims to hinder the Burkinabe people’s march for sovereignty and total liberation from the terrorist hordes trying to enslave them”.

Earlier this month, the country’s military prosecutor said three soldiers had been arrested and charged with plotting against the ruling junta.

Investigators had received a tipoff about “soldiers and former soldiers working in intelligence” who were scouting out the homes and other locations used by key figures in the junta, including Traoré.

Their goal was to “destabilise… the transition”, it said, referring to a term used to describe interim military rule before promised elections.