After a barracks shooting.. Burkina Faso authorities deny the detention of the president and the occurrence of a military coup

Today, Sunday, the Minister of Defense of Burkina Faso, General Bathilemi Simbor, denied reports that President Roch Marc Kabore had been detained, following heavy gunfire in a number of army barracks, and the government of Burkina Faso denied the army’s seizure of power.

Speaking on state television, the defense minister explained that the motive behind the shooting by the soldiers was not yet clear, adding that the head of state had not been detained, and no institution in the country had been threatened.

A spokesman for the government of Burkina Faso called on the citizens of his country to remain calm, after hearing gunfire inside a number of barracks, and military sources told AFP that two of the barracks where the shooting was heard today are in the capital, Ouagadougou.

Army Staff

A Reuters reporter said that heavy weapons fire began in the capital’s Sangoli Lamizana camp, which houses the army’s chief of staff and a prison for soldiers who took part in a failed coup in 2015, and the shooting was heard early at least five in the morning local time.

Later, the reporter saw soldiers firing in the air at the camp and at an air base near Ouagadougou airport. A witness also mentioned shooting at an army camp in Kaya, about 100 km from the capital.

A Reuters reporter said heavy weapons fire began at the capital’s Sangoli Lamezana camp, which houses the army’s chief of staff and a prison for soldiers who took part in a failed 2015 coup.

The shooting came a day after the police arrested dozens of people to prevent the continuation of demonstrations to protest against the government’s failure to stop the violence of armed groups that has gripped the impoverished country since 2015, and led to the killing of nearly two thousand people and the flight of 1.5 million people from their homes.

Previous arrests

And authorities in Burkina Faso arrested more than 10 soldiers – including a senior officer – earlier this month on suspicion of plotting against the government and seeking to destabilize state institutions.

And security sources announced the killing of two soldiers in the north during the protests, which were banned by the authorities earlier in the week.

Governments in West and Central Africa are on high alert due to the success of coups over the past 18 months in Mali and Guinea, and the army in Chad also took power last year after the killing of President Idriss Deby on one of the front lines with the rebels.

Burkina Faso, in West Africa, which has no coastline, is among the world’s poorest countries and has not enjoyed much stability since independence from France in 1960.

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