Burkina Faso Military Government Overthrown In Coup

(Photo by OLYMPIA DE MAISMONT / AFP) (Photo by OLYMPIA DE MAISMONT/AFP via Getty Images)

Brent Foster Contributor
Font Size:

A group of officers overthrew the military government led by Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Damiba in Burkina Faso on Friday.

The new leader of Burkina Faso is army Captain Ibrahim Traore, who announced the overthrow of his predecessor in a televised statement, according to Reuters. In the statement, Traore also announced the suspension of the constitution and the “all political and civil society activities.”

The coup follows a period of instability in Burkina Faso as Islamist attacks continued to spread with increased frequency, according to the BBC. A July attack in the north of the country left 55 dead while a roadside bombing in early September killed at least 35 and left dozens more injured. The latest attack hit a supply convoy aiming to assist residents in areas besieged by Islamist groups on Monday, leaving 11 soldiers dead and 50 civilians missing.

Traore cited Damiba’s ineffectiveness in combatting the attacks as the primary reason for his removal. Damiba took power in a January 2022 coup citing his predecessor’s inability to address the same problem, the BBC reported.

A statement signed by Traore and fellow military officers announced that national stakeholders will be invited to take part in the designation of a new president, military or civilian, and the adoption of a transitional charter, according to Reuters. “Faced with the deteriorating situation, we tried several times to get Damiba to refocus the transition on the security question,” the statement read, according to Reuters. (RELATED: Soldiers Engage In Mutiny, Detain President Of Burkina Faso After Battle At Palace)

The address capped off a day that saw explosions and gunfire in the capital, Ouagadougou, along with interruptions in state television programming, according to the BBC. Political activities have been suspended and the country’s borders are indefinitely closed. Traore also declared a nightly curfew.

The current location of Damiba remains unknown as of Friday evening, according to the outlet.