A general close to former President Blaise Compaore has been leading the coup that toppled Thursday the transitional authorities in Burkina Faso, where the elite soldiers of the army patrolled the capital, firing to disperse demonstrators opposed to the coup State.
This military coup came as this country of 17 million inhabitants, landlocked in the heart of the Sahel, was moving towards the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled on October 11, supposed to terminate the transition after the fall of Blaise Compaoré it are less than one year.
At least one person was shot dead and sixty injured since Wednesday, according to a report of a doctor from the main hospital in Ouagadougou.
The coup leaders have imposed a night curfew and ordered the closure of land and air borders until further notice.
In October 2014, the Burkinabe took to the streets by the hundreds of thousands to oust former President, after 27 years as head of the country.
Less than a year later, they helplessly to the proclamation, on national television, a coup perpetrated by soldiers of the Presidential Security Regiment (RSP), the elite corps of the army and praetorian guard of the former president.
In the process, denouncing “the regime deviating from transition”, the latter to the head of their “National Council for Democracy” (CND) Brigadier Diendéré Gilbert, former Chief of Staff of particular Blaise Compaore.
Man in the shadows until now, General Diendéré had been involved in the coup that brought to power his mentor in October 1987, during which was assassinated Captain Thomas Sankara, “father of the revolution” Burkinabe .
Wednesday afternoon, the men of the presidential guard had burst open Council of Ministers, taking hostage the interim president Michel Kafando and his government, which they still retain.
General Diendéré, who was to head the elite corps under the Compaoré regime, assured that President Michel Kafando and his government were “good” and would be “released” without elaborating.
No contact with Compaoré
He also said that the former president was not behind the coup perpetrated Wednesday and assured had “the support of the army,” in an interview with the television channel France 24.
The former Head of State of Burkina Faso he was instrumental in overthrowing the transitional authorities by soldiers of the Presidential Security Regiment (RSP)? “No, not at all,” replied the general, considered close to Mr Compaoré.
“I have not had contact with him before or after” the coup, he said. “He did not call me, I have not called either,” added the former chief of personal staff of President Compaoré.
General Diendéré also assured that the putschists the RSP had received the widest support of the army. “We have the support of the defense forces,” he told France 24.
Speaking so asked, he asked the international community, which unanimously condemned the coup, “to understand the sense of (his) action” and announced that he would meet soon representatives.
“We are not here to perpetuate our power,” assured the head of the coup: “As soon as the conditions are met, we will hand over power.”
While the elections to be held October 11 seem buried facto leader of the coup has ensured that it intended “to continue on the path of inclusive elections, democratic elections.”
Asked about an electoral calendar, he answered: “I can not give a date (…) We are going to do with them (officials) to discuss the political issue.”
Earlier he had particularly justified the coup by the “exclusion measures taken by the transitional authorities” in reference to a controversial new election code which prohibited the supporters of the former president to compete for the presidency. The law adopted by the transitional authorities, had been invalidated by a West African justice court.
Barricades in province
Despite the general Diendéré insurance, many Burkinabe wondered, on social networks if Blaise Compaoré was not maneuvering.
Suspicion fueled by Léonce Koné statements Wednesday, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of the Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP) party of former president: “When you behave in that way, these things happen” , he declared.
It was unclear Thursday where was the ex-president, who is ordinarily resident in neighboring Ivory Coast since his forced exile.
Thursday morning, the president of the interim assembly (CNT) Cheriff Sy and “citizen Broom”, a movement of civil society had called for the mobilization.
But the soldiers of the RSP had set up roadblocks around the neighborhood of the Presidential Palace, Ouaga2000, and welcomed the first demonstrators by shooting.
The streets of the capital were virtually deserted as is the big market and shops were closed and administrations.
The unions had called the strike and most shops were closed in Bobo-Dioulasso, the second city of the country (west), where many residents took to the street and the house of a member of the CDP was burned. Protests were held elsewhere in the province.
The coup was unanimously condemned by the international community, the UN Security Council, the African Union, the European Union and the West African States Economic Community called for the release of Kafando president and his government.
French President Francois Hollande has condemned his side a “coup” and called for the “replacement” of institutions, while ensuring that the French military would not intervene on site. France has 220 French special forces soldiers in Ouagadougou, as part of its operation antidjihadiste barkhane.
The RSP, which has 1,300 men, had already repeatedly disrupted the transition and the coup comes two days after a committee of the transitional regime had recommended the dissolution of the unit to blend in with the rest of the staff the army, remained very discreet since Wednesday.