Exiled Burkina Faso leader denies fleeing to French military base

The deposed leader of Burkina Faso has denied reports he is hiding in a French military base as coup supporters took to the streets waving Russian flags and attacked the French embassy.

Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiva was deported Friday night by Army Captain Ibrahim Traoré. This is the second coup in eight months in a country ravaged by a jihadist rebellion.

Damiba’s whereabouts have been missing since he visited the northern town of Zibo to address soldiers in the aftermath of the jihadist attack on Thursday.

Traoré officials said on state television this weekend that the deposed president was on a French military base and was planning to be reinstated.

“I formally deny that I was evacuated to Camboinse base in France,” Damiba said in a statement on the official Facebook page of the president’s office.

“I call on Captain Traoré and his company to come to their senses to avoid a fratricidal war that Burkina Faso does not need in this context,” he added.

The French embassy in the capital of Ouagadougou also denied any links to Damiva. “France has officially denied any involvement in the ongoing incidents in Burkina Faso since yesterday. .”

Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba said in a statement:

Some former French colonies in the region clashed with Paris as they developed closer ties with Moscow. Supporters of the latest coup took to the streets, TV reports had some waving Russian flags, and a French cultural center in Bobo Dioulasso, his second-largest city in the country, was also attacked. I was.

French officials condemned the “violent act” committed against the diplomatic outpost and said they urged all citizens in the country to remain vigilant amidst the unrest.

International and regional organizations have condemned the new coup. In a statement, the African Union expressed “deep concern” about the takeover. Burkina Faso Stick to the agreement reached in July towards a democratic transition by July 2024 at the latest.

Damiba came to power in January on the back of the popularity of Burkina Faso’s 21 million people, overthrowing democratically elected President Loch Cabole. He vowed to defeat al-Qaeda and ISIS-affiliated groups that ravaged much of the country amid mounting discontent from citizens and soldiers.

However, Damiba failed to gain a foothold against the terrorists as violence surged and terrorists gained power. said that With 11 soldiers dead and many civilians missing and presumed dead, the attack on a convoy bound for Zibo sparked the latest coup after months of tensions within the military. rice field.

Al-Qaeda and ISIS-affiliated groups have been wreaking havoc in the arid Sahel since 2012, including Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad and many other countries in North and West Africa.

Violence and the government’s inability to achieve a decisive victory over its perpetrators have made coups attractive to those sick of the crisis. Two coups d’état occurred, first to overthrow the elected president, and then to overthrow the caretaker government that replaced him.

The coup in Mali led to the breakdown of relations between the West African country and its former colonial ruler, France. France withdrew its peacekeepers’ operation in the Balkans, and Niger suspended fuel shipments to Mali.

Russia’s Wagner Group, known for operating in hotspots of conflict, including wars in Syria and Ukraine, is a private military company founded by an ally of the Russian president, Evgeny Prigozhin. Vladimir Putin, deployed to support the Malian army. They have been accused of human rights abuses in Mali and the Central African Republic.

https://www.ft.com/content/d35cd5e7-9e62-4d39-9407-b4e34dcb6da7 Exiled Burkina Faso leader denies fleeing to French military base

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