Soldiers seize power in Burkina Faso as global coup surge continues

  • Written by Axios
  • Published in Politics
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Soldiers announce the coup on state TV. Photo: Anadolu Agency via Getty

Mutinous soldiers in Burkina Faso declared on state television Monday that they had deposed the government, closed the borders, and taken control of the country. President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré has reportedly been arrested.

The big picture: This would be the third successful military coup in west Africa in eight months, after juntas took power last year in Guinea and in neighboring Mali.


  • Kaboré has not been seen since an uprising began on Sunday in the capital, Ouagadougou. His whereabouts are unknown, but his party claimed Monday that he had survived an assassination attempt.
  • Kaboré has struggled to combat an Islamist insurgency since taking power in 2015. Over 1 million people have been displaced by the fighting and at least 2,000 have been killed.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba signed the televised announcement and is believed to be the coup leader. This would be the eighth successful coup in Burkina Faso since 1960, the most in Africa, per the Washington Post.

Driving the news: In the chaotic 24 hours leading up to the announcement, gunfire rang out at military bases and thousands of protesters took to the street to demand Kaboré's resignation....

  • The NYT's Declan Walsh reported from Ouagadougou that there was clear popular support for the coup in the streets.
  • He described a somewhat surreal scene of jubilant fans watching the national soccer team secure a major victory in the African Cup of Nations, while elsewhere in the city soldiers occupied a military base and police fired tear gas at protesters.
  • Rebellious army

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