Attacks on French embassy in Burkina Faso | Current Africa | DW

Situation in Burkina Faso I October 2, 2022

After the coup in West Africa’s Burkina Faso, French institutions have become the target of protests, some of which have been violent. Several dozen supporters of the new junta leader Ibrahim Traoré threw stones at the embassy of the former colonial power France in the capital Ouagadougou and set fire to barriers in front of the building. Security forces used tear gas to disperse the protesters. French soldiers were stationed on the roof of the embassy.

In a statement broadcast on state television, the junta spokesman called on the population to “refrain from any act of violence or vandalism,” particularly attacks on the French embassy or French military installations.

Officers responsible for the most recent coup had accused the previous junta boss Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba of hiding in a military base of the former colonial power France in order to plan a “counteroffensive”. Rumors circulated online that France was protecting Damiba.

Situation in Burkina Faso I October 2, 2022

Supporters of the new coup greet the self-proclaimed new leader Ibrahim Traoré

The French foreign ministry condemned the “violence against our embassy in the strongest possible terms” and blamed “hostile demonstrators, manipulated by a disinformation campaign”. Already on Saturday there was a fire in front of the embassy and an attack on the French language and cultural institution “Institut français” in Ouagadougou.

Second coup this year

On Friday, a group of military officials deposed Damiba, who had only been in power since January, and named Captain Ibrahim Traoré as his successor. The rebels cited “the continuous deterioration of the security situation” in the country as justification.

There is no information about Damiba’s whereabouts. On Saturday evening, in a statement published on the official Facebook page of the President’s Office, he appealed to the coup plotters “to come to their senses in order to avoid a fratricidal war.” The general staff of the Burkinabe military also does not seem to recognize the coup. Shortly before, he described the events in a statement as an “internal crisis” within the armed forces.

Supporters of the new coup can repeatedly be seen waving Russian flags and calling for closer cooperation with Russia. Moscow’s influence has increased in several francophone countries in the region in recent years.

Bad security situation

Burkina Faso, with around 21 million inhabitants, is one of the poorest countries in the world. As in the neighboring countries of Mali and Niger, Islamist groups in Burkina Faso repeatedly carry out attacks on security forces and state institutions. At the end of January, the soldiers who staged the coup at the time justified their seizure of power with the poor security situation. However, the situation has not improved since then. At least eleven soldiers were killed in an attack on a convoy on Monday.

sales tax/hf (afp, ap, epd)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here