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Politics Mutinous soldiers take over military base in Burkina Faso

02:56  24 january  2022
02:56  24 january  2022 Source:   thehill.com

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Soldiers have mutinied at several barracks in Burkina Faso to demand the sacking of military chiefs, and more resources to fight militant Islamists. Heavy gunfire rang out for hours from barracks in the capital Ouagadougou, and at a nearby air base . Hundreds of people came out in support of the It is the latest sign of growing discontent with President Roch Kaboré's government over its failure to quell the Islamist insurgency that has devastated the West African state since 2015. The gunshots were heard at military camps in the west and south of the capital, and at an air base near the main airport.

Mutinous soldiers have seized control of a military base in Burkina Faso 's capital, raising fears of a coup attempt in the West African nation as gunfire rang out for hours amid growing frustration with the government's handling of the Islamic insurgency. The apparent mutiny came one day after the latest public At the Lamizana Sangoule military barracks in the capital, however, angry soldiers shot into the air, directing their anger over army casualties at the president. About 100 motorcycles later left the base , chanting in support of the mutineers, but were stopped when security forces deployed tear gas.

A group of mutinous soldiers took control of a military base in Burkina Faso on Sunday amid calls for President Roch Marc Christian Kabore to resign.

Mutinous soldiers take over military base in Burkina Faso © Associated Press/Sophie Garcia Mutinous soldiers take over military base in Burkina Faso

The country's defense minister, Aime Barthelemy Simpore, told state media that barracks in multiple cities had been affected by the unrest. On Saturday, demonstrators gathered in support of the mutineers, leading security forces to deploy tear gas to disperse the crowds.

"Well, it's a few barracks. There are not too many," said Simpore, according to The Associated Press. "In some of these barracks, the calm has already returned. So that's it for the moment. As I said, we are monitoring the situation."

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Gunfire sounded from several military camps in Burkina Faso on Sunday (January 23) as mutinying soldiers demanded more support from the government in their fight against Al Qaeda and Islamic State-linked militants. The government has called for calm and denies that the army has seized power or detained President Roch Kabore. The government confirmed gunfire at some military camps but the West African country's defense minister said the reasons were still unclear. Countries in the region are on high alert for coups after successful takeovers in Guinea and Mali over the past 18 months.

Sustained gunfire rang out from military camps in Burkina Faso on Sunday as mutinying soldiers demanded more support for their fight against Islamist militants and protesters ransacked the headquarters of President Roch Kabore's political party. The government called for calm, denying Governments in West and Central Africa are on high alert for coups after successful putsches over the past 18 months in Mali and Guinea, where the army removed President Alpha Conde last September. The military also took over in Chad last year after President Idriss Deby died on the battlefield.

Soldiers at the Lamizana Sangoule military barracks in the capital city of Ouagadougou shot into the air in anger over army casualties, which they blamed on Kabore.

When contacted by the AP, soldiers at the base put a man on the phone who said they wanted better wanted conditions for the military as their battle with Islamic militants escalates. They are demanding more manpower in their fight against extremists; better care for the wounded and the families of those who die; and for military and intelligence hierarchy to be replaced.

Burkina Faso has been besieged by terrorist groups since at least 2015, with groups affiliated with the Islamic State and al-Quaeda targeting the country's gold mines. Thousands have been killed in attacks in recent years and roughly 1.5 million people have been displaced.

Attacks have become more frequent, largely concentrated in the country's northern and eastern regions.

Despite the unrest among soldiers, the government of Burkina Faso denied speculation that the it was falling to a military takeover. A spokesperson for the Burkina Faso government said that talks are currently underway with the mutineers, Reuters reported.

"The head of state has not been detained; no institution of the country has been threatened," said Simpore. The AP noted that Kabore's whereabouts currently remain unknown.

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usr: 1
This is interesting!