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Burkino Faso 2015 - Coup and Election

Following the popular uprising of October 2014 that forced President Blaise Compaore into exile after 27 years in power, the country organized presidential and legislative elections. The elite elite presidential guards (RSP), a unit of 1,300 men loyal to Compaore, officially declared a coup 16 September 2015 and installed rebel leader General Gilbert Diendere, Compaore's former chief of staff, as the country's new leader.

Burkina Faso coup leaders agreed 23 September 2015 to return to their barracks and said they would restore the deposed president to power, signing a deal with the army that apparently defuses a tense standoff sparked by a coup. The breakthrough came after marathon talks in Nigeria's Abuja, where West African heads of state had sought to break the impasse fuelled by angry threats on both sides. The deal was signed a day after troops entered Burkina's capital of Ouagadougou, turning up the pressure on the elite presidential guards (RSP), who staged the coup. The deal was presented to the Mogho Naba, or "king" of Burkina Faso's leading Mossi tribe, in front of the media.

Presidential Security Regiment [RSP] members who launched the coup attempt 16 September 2015 were unhappy that the transitional government had barred supporters of former President Blaise Compaore from running in upcoming elections. RSP leader General Gilbert Diendere took power but was forced to step down a few days later after pressure from protesters, the army and the West African bloc ECOWAS. Diendere said he regretted the coup attempt.

Burkina Faso's military said the elite presidential guard behind the coup attempt refused to be disarmed, one of the conditions the junta agreed to in a peace deal with the army. The army said the planned disarmament of the guard had reached a "dead end" because soldiers will not give up their weapons and because of "ambiguous behavior" of RSP chief and coup leader General Gilbert Diendere.

During the failed coup, General Gilbert Diendere's forces detained the interim president, prime minister and several Cabinet members. The guard was unhappy the interim government barred supporters of former president Blaise Compaore from running in upcoming elections. General Diendere held power for nearly a week but was forced to step down under pressure from the army, demonstrators, and the West African bloc ECOWAS.

On 18 May 2015, more than 27 years after the assassination of former President Thomas Sankara during a coup d'état which brought Blaise Compaoré to power, his widow Mariam was heard by the courts. On the 26th, the supposed remains of the former president were exhumed. Members of the Interim Parliament voted 16 July 2015 on the indictment of former President Blaise Compaoré before the High Court of Justice for "high treason" and "attack on the Constitution".

The soldiers of the Presidential Security Regiment (RSP) announced 17 September 2015 they had dissolved the authorities of the transition. Headed by General Gilbert Diendéré, a close friend of former President Blaise Compaore, the coup leaders sequestered the executive, including President Michel Kafando and Prime Minister Isaac Zida. Since the announcement of the coup, civil society organizations, the "citizen broom" in mind, called on the citizens of Burkina Faso and the army to defend their democracy. The UN Security Council met in camera to take stock of the situation in the country and condemn this coup de force of the RSP.

A phone-leak scandal implicated Cote d'Ivoire's parliamentary president Guillaume Soro, accused of fomenting September’s military coup. The "affair Soro-Bassolé" was essentially leaked recordings of a phone conversation between Burkina Faso's former Foreign Minister Djibril Bassolé and Côte d'Ivoire's parliamentary president Guillaume Soro. In the discussion, the two men are heard plotting the failed coup that was carried out by presidential guards loyal to Blaise Compaore on September 16th.

On 18 September 2015 the African Union announced the suspension of the country and sanctions against the putschists: they were prohibited from traveling and their assets abroad are frozen. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is initiating mediation. The putschists said they had freed the transitional president and ministers from his government. Senegalese President Macky Sall, also president of ECOWAS, met General Gilbert Diendéré in Ouagadougou. The president of Benin, Boni Yayi, Mediator of ECOWAS for Burkina Faso, was also in the capital. The aim of the meeting, he said, was to "achieve a return to normal constitutional life", to the "release of the president and ministers". People everywhere refused the coup d'etat.

On 20 September 2015 the mediators of the ECOWAS proposed a "draft political agreement of exit of crisis", providing to restore President Kafando and amnesty the putschists, which divided the country, provoking numerous demonstrations. The next day, President Kafando was exfiltered and welcomed to the French Embassy. The United States asked its citizens to leave.

On 22 September 2015 the loyalist army entered the capital without resistance. The transitional Prime Minister Isaac Zida, in the hands of the putschists since the coup, was freed. At 10 pm, the loyalist forces and the men of the RSP signed an agreement of appeasement before the Mogho Naba, the king of the Mossis and moral authority in Burkina Faso.

Presidential guards agreed 23 September 2015 to remain in their barracks while Burkina Faso armed forces retreated from the capital Ouagadougou, the broadcaster reported. African leaders are to oversee the implementation of the deal. The coup triggered clashes between guards and protesters that reportedly left 10 people dead and over 100 injured. The breakthrough came a day after the regular army entered Ouagadougou to suppress presidential guards loyal to the country’s ousted president Blaise Compaore, who was overthrown in a popular uprising in 2014.

On 23 September 2015 the Transitional President Michel Kafando was officially re-invested as President of the transition during a ceremony in the early afternoon. General Diendéré on his part presented official apologies to the Burkinabè. According to hospital sources, in a week at least 10 protesters were killed and dozens more injured.

On 26 September 2015 the investigating judge charged with investigating the perpetrators of the putsch ordered the freezing of the assets of the alleged perpetrators and their accomplices. At the top of the list was General Diendéré, his wife, and former Minister of Security Sidi Paré, who had been dismissed on 25 October at the Council of Ministers.

On 29 September 2015 the African Union lifted the suspension of Burkina Faso, following the return of President Kafando.

The general behind the failed coup in Burkina Faso surrendered to the country's transitional government. General Gilbert Diendere turned himself in 01 October 2015 after negotiations with officials in the capital, Ouagadougou. Diendere received assurances that he would not be killed and that he and other soldiers who took part in the September 16 coup will receive a fair trial. General Diendere was believed to have had a hand in the death of Burkina Faso’s charismatic revolutionary leader Thomas Sankara and may have had a connection to Liberia’s civil war.

On 06 October 2015 the head of the coup plotters, General Gilbert Diendéré, and the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Blaise Compaoré, the general of gendarmerie Djibrill Bassolé, were charged with "assassination of state security". On the 16th, General Gilbert Diendéré was charged with a crime against humanity, announced the military justice which held 11 counts against him.

On 12 October 2015 installation of the commission of inquiry into the coup attempt, composed of eight magistrates and soldiers, whose mission is to shed light on the missed coup and to identify the perpetrators or accomplices, civilian or military. A report was to be issued on 12 November after hearing about 211 people, which enabled the commission to identify the sponsors and alleged perpetrators of the putsch.

On 13 October 2015 the presentation of the autopsy report of the alleged body of the Former President Thomas Sankara and ballistic report were presented. Several soldiers of the former Presidential Security Regiment (RSP), who initiated the failed coup d'état on 17 September, were charged with their involvement in the assassination of the President of Burkina Faso in 1987.

On 31 October 2015 the country paid tribute to the victims of the popular insurrection and the coup d'etat of September 16th. The stela was inaugurated and a national day of the Martyrs will be celebrated every year on October 31st.

On 29 November 2015 the candidate of the People's Movement for Progress (MPP), Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, won the historic presidential election in the first round with 53.49% of the vote, against 29.65% for the candidate of the Union for Change and Evolution (UPC), Zéphirin Diabré, according to provisional results of the CENI on 1 December. The People's Movement for Progress (MPP), led by Mr. Roch Kaboré, came first with 55 seats but did not take an outright majority in the 127-member National Assembly. The Union for Progress and Reform (UPC), led by former Finance Minister Zéphirin Diabré, came second; followed by the Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP), the former ruling party, now led by Mr. Eddie Komboïgo. Eleven other parties won fewer than five seats each. Diabre accepted defeat and said he would not contest the results. Kaboré won the presidential elections. During the election campaign, the major parties focused on the economy, healthcare, education and agriculture, and promised to fight corruption. The elections followed a military coup in October 2014 and a foiled coup attempt in September 2015. On 29 December, Mr. Kaboré was sworn in and became the first President since 1966 who did not have an association with a military coup.

Investiture came on 29 December, and on 30 December 2015 Salif Diallo, former right-hand man of the deposed president Blaise Compaoré, was elected President of Parliament. On 07 January 2016 economist Paul Kaba Thieba, 55, was appointed Prime Minister. On 30 December, the newly-elected National Assembly was sworn in, thereby officially ending the transitional period that started in November 2014.

President Kabore’s party, the MPP, had won 55 of the 127 parliamentary seats. Through alliances with certain parties, the MPP was guaranteed a majority in Parliament. For the first time in the country’s history, the Burkinabe people had chosen a president through free and equitable elections.

The ouster of Burkina Faso’s former leader and the successful November elections stirred expectations that the new authorities would not only conduct themselves with greater integrity and openness, but also support more democratic reforms. Yet activists are aware that Mr. Kaboré and several of his closest colleagues long served in the old government before joining the movement for democracy. While acknowledging the authorities’ repeated promises to govern differently, many remain cautious and watchful. “We are not giving them any honeymoon,” Ismael Diallo, spokesperson of the Front for the Reinforcement of Citizenship, one of the country’s main civil society coalitions, said in April 2016. “We have to be vigilant.”

On 8 January 2016 Burkina Faso issued an international arrest warrant against Guillaume Soro , the President of the Ivorian National Assembly. He was accused of having supported the failed putsch of General Gilbert Diendéré in September 2015.

On 23 January 2016, suspected of having participated in the coup last September, Eddie Komboigo, president of the former ruling party, who had left the country, was immediately arrested on his return to the country.

On 06 April 2016 the Ministry of Justice decided the end of the freezing of assets of people and political parties suspected of having taken part in the failed coup of September 16, 2015.

On 28 April 2016 the Court of Cassation quashed all arrest warrants issued by the military justice in the context of the file of the coup d'etat of September 16, 2015 and the file Thomas Sankara for formal defect. Political figures include Blaise Compaoré, former President of Burkina Faso, and Guillaume Soro, President of the Ivorian National Assembly.

On 09 June 2016, an investigative commission submitted its report on the killing of 28 persons and injuring of 625 in 2014 during protests against former president Blaise Compaore’s efforts to force a National Assembly vote to change presidential term limits. The report recommended the prosecution of 31 persons, including former president Compaore and former transition prime minister Yacouba Isaac Zida. Most of the others recommended for prosecution were former RSP members, but their identities had not been released by year’s end.

On 12 August 2016 the Court of Cassation rejected the request for the provisional release of General Djibrill Bassolé, former Foreign Minister of Blaise Compaoré, imprisoned since the failed coup d'état of September 2015.

On September 6 2016 former ministers of the last Government of Blaise Compaoré were heard in the context of the investigation into the repression of the popular insurrection, which killed some 30 people. All those who had adopted the bill on the amendment of the Constitution, which had set fire to the powders in 2014, were under a rogatory commission.

On September 13 2016 President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré ordered that Yacouba Isaac Zida, former Prime Minister that lived in Canada, be prosecuted during the transition. The motive of this action: "desertion in time of peace".

On 16 September 2016 Luc-Adolphe Tiao, former Prime Minister of Blaise Compaoré, was arrested, charged and convicted on charges of murder in connection with the investigation into the victims of the popular insurrection in October 2014.

On 20 December 2016 the trial of the 27 soldiers of the former Presidential Security Regiment and two civilians accused of planning an attack in December 2015 on the house of arrest and correction of the armies in order to release the generals Gilbert Diendéré, Djbrill Bassolé And military personnel incarcerated in connection with the September 2015 putsch investigation. On 19 January the Military Court reclassified the criminal conspiracy into a military conspiracy.

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Page last modified: 24-01-2022 20:12:57 ZULU