Supporters of the coup in Burkina Faso attack the French Embassy in Ouagadougou | International

Video capture of the Burkina Faso public television RTB where the military putschists declare that they have taken power, this Friday in Ouagadougou.AP

Protesters in favor of the military who staged a coup in Burkina Faso this Friday have attacked the headquarters of the French Embassy in Ouagadougou, the country’s capital, with sticks and stones and have tried to enter the premises without success, after which They have set fire to the facade. A similar scene has been experienced at the headquarters of the French Institute of Bobo-Dioulasso, the country’s second largest city, which was attacked by a group of citizens. The anger against the French representation in Burkina Faso has exploded after the coup plotters assured this Saturday on television that the country’s president, Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, was protected in a French military base on the outskirts of the capital. from where he was launching “a counteroffensive.”

The coup d’état that took place on Friday in Burkina Faso had its replica the following day. Military supporters of Captain Ibrahim Traoré, the leader of the coup plotters, and soldiers loyal to President Damiba have staged several shootings and skirmishes in Ouagadougou on Saturday. The main streets and crossroads of the city are under rebel control, but helicopters under the command of Damiba have flown over the area during the morning. The division within the Army is patent. The Defense Staff has distanced itself from the coup d’état through a statement and has called for calm.

Given the concern about the situation in the streets of the capital, the coup plotters have launched their particular communication campaign to give their version of events. Through a statement read on public television, under their control, they have assured that Damiba was protected in the French military base of Kamboinsin, on the outskirts of Ouagadougou, “planning a counteroffensive with the aim of creating problems within our Forces Defense and Security. This is due to our firm desire to turn to other partners willing to help us in our fight against terrorism,” said Second Lieutenant Jean-Baptiste Kabre, a spokesman for the coup plotters, referring to the possibility of replacing France with Russia as an anti-terrorist ally, just like neighboring Mali has done.

The accusation that France had given refuge to Lieutenant Colonel Damiba was quickly denied both by the French Embassy in Burkina Faso and by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs itself. “France formally denies any involvement in the ongoing events since yesterday [por este viernes] in Burkina Faso. The base where the French forces are located has never welcomed Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, nor has our embassy,” the ministerial statement said. However, Captain Traoré himself insisted on the same idea in two interviews with the Voice of America and Radio Omega stations, already in the afternoon. “I cannot confirm it because I did not see him enter the base, but according to information from his men, who he believes are with him but who inform us, according to their information we think he is there to launch a counteroffensive,” he told the latter. string.

Subsequently, Traoré himself lifted the curfew that he had imposed the day before and, through a statement, called on the population to “a patriotic vigil, a total and constant mobilization to oppose the obscurantist forces that undermine our efforts in our common fight for the restoration of the security and integrity of our territory”.

The accusations of alleged French involvement in favor of Damiba, amplified on social networks and by word of mouth, are behind the attacks on the French Embassy in Ouagadougou and the headquarters of the French Institute in Bobo-Dioulasso. Numerous anti-French proclamations and pro-Russian slogans have been heard at the coup support rallies that have been held over the past 48 hours, a phenomenon that could also be seen during the coups in Mali and in the protests against the passage of a French military convoy in Burkina Faso itself and in Niger last year.

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This Friday, a group of soldiers led by artillery captain Ibrahim Traoré, from the Kaya military base, staged a coup against President Damiba, who also came to power through a military coup on January 24, to whom they accuse of incapacity to face the advance of the jihadist violence that gangrenes the country. Discomfort among certain sectors of the Army had been growing in recent months due to the deterioration of the security situation and the constant harassment by jihadist groups, specifically the Islam and Muslim Support Group (JNIM) and its local allies.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was the terrorist attack, last Monday, on a freight convoy as it passed through the town of Gaskindé, in the north of the country, when it was on its way to supply the city of Djibo, besieged by jihadists. for months. In this attack, according to the authorities, 11 soldiers died, some twenty people were injured and 50 civilians, most of them merchants, are missing.

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