Deja Coup: Burkina Faso military arrests civilian leaders (updated)

The Burkinabe Presidential Guard has just detained (kidnapped) the president and the entire cabinet of Burkina Faso in front of journalists. The country is less than one month away from elections but the interim cabinet had discussed abolishing the Guard because it was dangerous. This could be coup #3 of the past year. (If confirmed, it would be the 8th to succeed since independence.)

Update: More info

There was no immediate claim by the military on public air waves that they now controlled the country.

News of the standoff Wednesday created panic in Burkina Faso’s capital of Ouagadougou, where people closed shops early and headed home fearing violent demonstrations. The protests that led to President Blaise Compaore’s ouster escalated to a point where the parliament building was set ablaze.
[…]
The prime minister initially had threatened to disband the [presidential guard] back in December but later reversed course. Then on Monday, a truth and reconciliation commission released a report calling for the disbanding of the unit. Human rights groups have accused the regiment of opening fire on unarmed demonstrators last October, when massive protests forced Compaore to resign.

 
See also our extensive archives on Burkina Faso political analysis.

Update II: Presidential Guard troops fired as protesters confronted them over their arrest of the civilian government.

Update III, 9/17/15, 4:29 AM ET: An officer has announced a coup and plans for a “national democracy council” to organize “democratic and inclusive elections.” The overthrown transitional civilian government was already wrapping up preparations for democratic elections next month but they were not “inclusive” in the sense that they excluded many people affiliated with the regime overthrown less than a year ago. The coup leaders are likely representing just 1,300 troops in the renegade Presidential Guard and very few people beyond that (except perhaps some allies of the former regime).

Bill Humphrey

About Bill Humphrey

Bill Humphrey is the primary host of WVUD's Arsenal For Democracy talk radio show and is a Senior Editor for The Globalist. Follow him @BillHumphreyMA on twitter.
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