It was around 4:30 a.m. when shots began to be heard in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. The confrontation took place near the presidential palace and the Baba Sy camp, the headquarters of the transitional president, Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba. Troops positioned themselves around important strategic locations in the capital, such as the United Nations traffic circle, the radio and the television.
In the evening, the situation began to become clearer. The military, led by Ibrahim Traoré, announced the removal of Lieutenant Colonel Damiba, head of the transitional government.
Damiba himself had only recently become the head of the government. On January 24, 2022, the military, led by Damiba, announced on national television that they had taken over the country and that President Roque Marc Christian Kaboré had been arrested. Like many French-speaking Sahelian officers, Damiba has close ties to France.
Born in the capital of Burkina Faso, Damiba studied at a military school in Paris.
What prevented Damiba from staying in power? What were the reasons for this new coup? After promising to restore security in the country, Damiba did not keep his promises. Security problems have compounded economic and internal political difficulties and led to increased tensions among the population and the military. Violence by jihadist groups has not decreased. « Damiba has proven unable to deal with the deteriorating security situation and increased militancy, » said a military official, speaking live on state television.
The new rebel group is led by 34-year-old Captain Ibrahim Traoré. Mr. Traoré joined the Burkina Faso army in 2010 after graduating from the State University of Ouagadougou.
In video speeches on the evening of September 30, the military made a number of important statements regarding the suspension of the constitution, the dissolution of the government, the suspension of all political activity, and the closure of the country’s borders until further notice.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian businessman who is usually called Chief of the Wagner Group, expressed his support for the new leader of Burkina Faso: « I greet and support Captain Ibrahim Traoré. We all know that before January 2022, the Burkinabe people were under the pressure of colonialists who plundered the people, played their miserable games, trained and supported terrorist groups and brought much suffering to the local population.
On January 24 under the aegis of struggle for freedom and equity Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Dambia came to power in the country. Unfortunately, he did not justify the confidence of the young officers who ended up putting Captain Ibrahim Traore in the lead. And today they have done what had to be done and they have done it for the sole purpose of the welfare of their people. For this reason, I warmly congratulate Captain Ibrahim Traoré, a truly brave and worthy son of his country ».