The West African bloc ECOWAS will meet virtually on Friday to discuss the crisis in Burkina Faso, where army officers have ousted President Roch Marc Christian Kabore, the group said. The Economic Community of West African States, which includes Burkina, had already condemned Monday’s revolt, which came amid deepening anger over Kabore’s response to a jihadist insurgency.
The extraordinary summit on Burkina will start at 1000 GMT on Friday and be held virtually, ECOWAS said in a note on Wednesday. A source in Kabore’s party said earlier that the ousted president “is physically well” and was being held by the army in a villa.
Kabore was elected in 2015 following a popular revolt that forced out strongman Blaise Compaore. He was re-elected in 2020.
But since last year he has faced a wave of discontent over jihadist attacks that have claimed some 2,000 lives and forced a million and a half people to flee their homes. On Sunday, mutinies erupted in several army barracks a day after police dispersed banned protests, and on Monday the army rebels moved against Kabore.
The former French colony is now controlled by the Patriotic Movement for Preservation and Restoration (MPSR) — a junta led by Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, a commander in the jihadist-torn east.
The MPSR has announced the suspension of the constitution and the dissolution of the government and parliament. Three of ECOWAS’ 15 members have now experienced military coups in less than 18 months.
In August 2020, army officers ousted Mali’s elected president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who had likewise been facing protests over his handling of the country’s jihadist crisis.
Guinea underwent a coup in September last year, when officers toppled President Alpha Conde, 83,who had been president since 2010.
He sparked mass protests when he changed the constitution to allow himself to seek a third term at the ballot box. Both Guinea and Mali have been suspended from ECOWAS, and the bloc has imposed an array of sanctions against those countries.
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