Guterres denounces the “epidemic of coups” .. condemnations of the military seizure of power in Burkina Faso and calls for the release of President Kabore
Regional and international condemnations followed after a group of soldiers in Burkina Faso announced the overthrow of President Roc Kabore, the suspension of the constitution, the dissolution of the government and parliament, and the closure of borders.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, condemned what he called the “epidemic of coups” that the world is witnessing, noting that he is following with deep concern the developments in the situation in Burkina Faso.
Guterres expressed – on Monday in a statement – his “particular concern for the fate and safety of the president… following the coup carried out by units of the armed forces on January 23.”
The statement said that Guterres “strongly condemns any attempt to seize power by force of arms, and calls on the leaders of the coup to lay down their arms and ensure the physical safety of the President of Burkina Faso and the protection of its institutions.”
For its part, the US State Department expressed deep concern about the events in Burkina Faso, calling on the army to calm the situation and refrain from harming the detained president and members of his government.
The State Department urged the restoration of the civilian-led government and constitutional order, and called on the military to retreat and return to their barracks and dispel their fears through dialogue.
In the same context, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement, “We now know that President Kabore is under the control of the military,” describing the situation as “extremely worrying.”
Borrell added that he “calls on all actors for calm and restraint, and calls for the immediate release of President Roc Kabore and members of state institutions.”
Regionally, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said in a statement that it is following with “grave concern” the developments in the situation in Burkina Faso, and called on the military to engage in dialogue.
For his part, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki, expressed his condemnation of the “coup attempt” in Burkina Faso, calling on the army to guarantee the safety of the president and members of his government.
And the soldiers in Burkina Faso announced on state television on Monday evening that they had ousted President Roc Kabore.
On television, a group of soldiers in uniform, with a captain in the middle, read out a statement signed by Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Sandaugo Damiba, head of the “National Movement for Protection and Restoration”.
The statement said that the military council decided to dissolve the government and parliament and suspended the constitution. It also decided to close the country’s borders, starting at dawn on Tuesday, and to impose a night curfew in all parts of the country.
The statement promised that the country would return to the constitutional order within a “reasonable period of time”, without details.
The announcement came after security sources said that soldiers had detained President Kabore in an army barracks, after military units had rebelled against his authority – since Sunday – in several parts of the country, accusing him of impotence in the face of the increasing “jihadist attacks”.
On the other hand, Kabore’s party denounced the “failed assassination attempt” of the head of state.
The People’s Movement for Progress party said in a statement that it also condemned the “looting of the private home of the head of state” and the “attempted to assassinate a minister” whose name was not specified.
Kabore had posted on his Twitter account on Monday afternoon a message – it was not clear if he had personally written it – in which he called on “those who took up arms to lay down their arms for the higher interest of the country.”
“Our contradictions are resolved through dialogue and listening to each other,” the letter said.