A Second Coup Announced in Burkina Faso After Heavy Gunfire at the Country's Capital

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  • A coup has been announced in Burkina Faso, marking the second coup in the West African country this year.

  • The coup announcement came after hours of heavy gunfire at the country's capital, Ouagadougou.
  • Armed soldiers confirmed the overthrow of Burkina Faso's President Paul-Henri Damiba through a televised broadcast.
  • There is concern over the rising coup in West African region, especially in Francophone countries.


Burkina Faso's military has taken over the government of the country and key government controlled locations including the presidential palace and the National Television Station.


The announcement was made by a group of heavily armed military personnel in a televised national broadcast.


This announcement came following heavy gunfire in Burkina Faso's capital, Ouagadougou in the late hours of Friday. Soldiers were reportedly seen all out on the streets along the main avenue that leads to the administrative building, the national television station, and the presidential palace.


The national television which broadcasts to the whole nation was blocked from access. Eyewitnesses say the channel only showed "no video signal".


A coup has been announced in Burkina Faso, marking the second coup in the West African country this year.


A statement from the government stated, "Negotiations are underway to bring back calm and serenity. The enemy attacking our country only wants division between Burkinabes."


In an analysis, Eric Humphery-Smith, a Senior Africa Analyst at risk intelligence company Verisk Maplecroft told AP on Friday that "While gunfire around the military barracks could be due to some forms of mutiny, the closure of the national television station bodes ill."


Burkina Faso has seen a lot of conflicts in recent years. Islamic terrorists from nearby Mali have migrated into the country with inner fighters, controlling about 40% of the country's regions.


The current president, Paul-Henri Damiba, took over the country through a coup. He was a lieutenant but became a coup leader that overthrew former president Roch Kabore in January this year.


Residents were happy about the takeover because they thought the current government would be able to fight insurgency. However, the government has "not done enough to counter insecurity in the country", according to residents.


Earlier this week, 11 soldiers were killed and 50 civilians reportedly missing in a terrorist attack in the northern Soum province. Before the coup, residents on Thursday protested against Damiba and asked for his resignation, blaming him for the growing insecurity in the country.


There is tension across the whole of West Africa following a rising coup in the region, especially in Francophone countries, formally occupied by France.


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Military takeovers have taken place in countries like Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Chad, and now twice in Burkina-Faso.


Although the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has sanctioned Mali and Guinea because of the Coup, the fact that this continues in Burkina Faso raises concern over the effectiveness of those sanctions.


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