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2022 - Coup

Burkina Faso's army said on 24 January 2022 it had ousted President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, suspended the country’s constitution, dissolved government and closed the national borders. A captain, who said he represented the Patriotic Movement for Safeguarding and Restoration, said this group would work on a timetable for holding new elections that was "acceptable to everyone."

Protesters siding with soldiers who staged mutinies at several barracks in Burkina Faso on 23 January 2022 set fire to the headquarters of the ruling party in the capital. The government has denied rumours of an army take over. Authorities declared an overnight curfew from 8:00 pm in an announcement broadcast on state television. The headquarters of President Roch Kabore's political party was burned and looted by protesters angry about the goverment's handling of the jihadist threat. The unrest came a little over a week after 12 people, including a senior army officer, were arrested on suspicion of planning to "destabilise" Burkina's institutions.

The unrest came as soldiers staged mutinies at several barracks to demand the sacking of the country's military top brass and allocation of more resources to a seven-year battle against Islamist insurgents. The disaffected soldiers also wanted top generals to be "replaced", better care for injured troops and more support for the families of soldiers killed in battle. But the government quickly denied rumours of a putsch and a list of demands presented by the rebellious troops made no mention of trying to oust Kabore, while emphasizing the need for a better anti-jihadist strategy.

President Roch Marc Christian Kabore, who had already changed his military leadership over the security crisis, accepted Prime Minister Christophe Joseph Marie Dabire’s resignation, according to a presidential decree. The resignation of a prime minister requires the resignation of the entire government, according to Burkina Faso law. After his resignation, Dabire called on citizens to “support the president... and the new executive that will be put in place”.

On January 24, the Government of Burkina Faso implemented a mandatory curfew from 8:00 pm to 5:30 am. The US Embassy had not received any indication that the curfew has been lifted. The airport remained open. U.S. citizens who were scheduled to depart Ouagadougou via commercial flights were encouraged to contact their airlines and arrive at the airport before the curfew. US citizens in Burkina Faso were advised to follow the curfew and monitor all methods of communication, including media reporting/sources. Burkina Faso is a constitutional republic led by an elected president. On 22 November 2020, the country held presidential and legislative elections despite challenges due to growing insecurity and increasing numbers of internally displaced persons. President Roch Marc Christian Kabore was re-elected to a second five-year term with 57.74 percent of the popular vote, and his party–the People’s Movement for Progress–won 56 seats in the 127-seat National Assembly, remaining the largest party in a legislative majority coalition with smaller parties. National and international observers characterized the elections as peaceful and “satisfactory,” while noting logistical problems on election day and a lack of access to the polls for many citizens due to insecurity. The government had previously declared that elections would take place only in areas where security could be guaranteed. The Ministry of Internal Security and the Ministry of Defense are responsible for internal security. The Ministry of Internal Security oversees the National Police. The army, air force, and National Gendarmerie, which operate within the Ministry of Defense, are responsible for external security but sometimes assist with missions related to domestic security. On January 21, the government passed legislation formalizing community-based self-defense groups by establishing the Volunteers for the Defense of the Fatherland, a civilian support corps for state counterterrorism efforts with rudimentary oversight from the Ministry of Defense. Civilian authorities generally maintained effective control over security forces, but members of the security forces and community-based defense groups committed numerous abuses. Significant human rights issues included: unlawful or arbitrary killings, including extrajudicial killings by the government and extremists; forced disappearance by the government and extremist groups; torture and cases of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment by the government; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary detention by the government; serious abuses in an internal conflict; serious acts of corruption; crimes involving violence or threats of violence targeting members of national, racial, and ethnic minorities; and the worst forms of child labor. The government investigated and punished some cases of abuse, but impunity for human rights abuses remained a problem. The country experienced deadly attacks by violent extremist organizations during 2020. Terrorist groups Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims) and the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, and other armed groups, such as the homegrown Ansaroul Islam, perpetrated more than 500 attacks that resulted in hundreds of civilian deaths as well as scores of deaths among government security forces. Security incidents included improvised explosive device attacks, targeted killings, kidnapping, attacks on mining sites (especially gold mines), burning of schools, and theft of food assistance, contributing to a humanitarian crisis and the internal displacement of more than one million persons.

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