Burkina Faso’s army said on Monday that President Roch Kabore had been ousted, the constitution had been suspended, the government and national legislature had been dissolved, and the country’s borders had been blocked.
The takeover was carried out without bloodshed, according to the declaration, which was signed by Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba and broadcast on state television by another officer.
The declaration was issued in the name of a hitherto unknown organization known as the Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration or MPSR in French acronym.
“MPSR, which includes all sections of the army, has decided to end President Kabore’s post today,” it said.
It cited the deterioration of the security situation and what it described as Kabore’s inability to unite the nation and effectively respond to the challenges it faces.
The statement said the MPSR would re-establish “constitutional order” within a “reasonable time”, adding that a nationwide nightly curfew would be enforced.
On Monday, Kabore’s whereabouts remained unclear after loud gunfire was reported overnight in the neighborhood near his home.
Kabore’s party had previously claimed that he had escaped an assassination attempt, but provided no further information.
Prior to the army announcement, the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) both criticized what they called an attempted coup in Burkina Faso, stating they held the military responsible for Kabore’s safety.
The army broadcast followed two days of confusion and fear in Ouagadougou’s capital, where heavy gunfire erupted at army camps on Sunday, with soldiers demanding more support in their fight against armed groups.
President Roch Marc Christian Kabore’s whereabouts were unknown at the time.
Earlier, security sources reported different stories of Kabore’s status, with some claiming he was detained by coup organizers and others claiming he was transported to a secure place by troops loyal to him.
Kabore’s party had previously stated that he had survived an assassination attempt, but provided no further information.
On Monday, several bullet-riddled presidential fleet cars were observed near Kabore’s house. Blood was splattered on one of them.
Tweet from ousted president Kabore later same day
“Our Nation is going through difficult times. At this precise moment, we must safeguard our democratic achievements. I invite those who have taken up arms to lay them down in the higher interests of the Nation. It is through dialogue and listening that we must resolve our contradictions,” said a Twitter post from the account of Kabore.”
Notre Nation vit des moments difficiles.
Nous devons en ce moment précis sauvegarder nos acquis démocratiques.
J'invite ceux qui ont pris les armes à les déposer dans l'intérêt Supérieur de la Nation.
C'est par le dialogue et l'écoute que nous devons régler nos contradictions.RK
— Roch KABORE (@rochkaborepf) January 24, 2022