The African Union deplores the “attempted coup” in Burkina Faso

Addis Ababa, Jan 24 (EFE) .- The African Union (AU) today deplored the “attempted coup” that apparently takes place in Burkina Faso, after shots were fired this Sunday in several military barracks in their alleged mutiny . In a statement issued from the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, the president of the Commission (secretariat) of the African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat, stated that he follows “with deep concern the very serious situation in Burkina Faso.” Mahamat “strongly condemned the attempted coup against the democratically elected president,” Roch Kaboré. The president of the Commission urged the “National Army and the country’s security forces to strictly comply with their republican vocation, which is the defense of the internal and external security of the country.” He also urged him to “ensure the physical integrity of the President of the Republic, as well as all the members of his Government.” Mahamat also encouraged “the government and all civil and military actors to favor political dialogue as a means of resolving Burkina Faso’s problems.” That statement was released shortly after Kaboré himself asked the military on his Twitter account to lay down their arms and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) also condemned the “attempted coup d’état”. Uncertainty and confusion reign in the country after military sources confirmed this morning the arrest of the president by military rebels. However, according to sources from the Gendarmerie to the local media Radio Oméga and Burkina24, the president “is isolated” and protected by the Gendarmerie. Likewise, they indicated that he would be in the Paspanga camp of the Gendarmerie in Ouagadougou, the country’s capital, which has reinforced its security device and is being flown over by helicopters. This Sunday, Burkina Faso experienced a tense situation after hearing shots since dawn in several military barracks in the capital and other towns in the country (Ouahigouya and Kaya). The government denied that it was a coup attempt and declared a night curfew and the closure of schools on January 24 and 25 to “preserve the safety of students.” Although the reasons for the shooting were not officially confirmed, local media indicated that it was a riot to demand improvements from the Government, including more means to fight against jihadist terrorism (of which Burkinabe troops are usually targeted), and the resignation of senior military and intelligence officials. Sunday’s situation was preceded on Saturday by a day of unauthorized demonstrations, called by civil society groups to express the great social discontent over the insecurity generated by the jihadist violence and request Kaboré’s resignation. Burkina Faso has suffered from jihadism since 2015 and the attacks, which are attributed to groups allied to both Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, have caused more than 1.5 million internally displaced persons, according to data from the Burkina Faso government. EFE ya-pa/yes

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