Continued resistance to coup

The Burkinabés continue to stand against the military coup just weeks before the country's first election in 28 years. The interim president has been released but no negotiations have been made with the coup leaders.

Since Wednesday, the 16 September, the Burkinabés saw a coup carried out by General Gilbert Djendéré, chief-of-staff to former president Blaise Compaoré for three decades and head of the military elite presidential guard R.S.P (Regiment of Presidential security). The regiment was founded in 1990 by Compaoré, removed from power following a popular uprising on the 30 and 31 October last year. R.S.P is accused of operating at his personal service. Burkina has since Compaoré had a transitional government, awaiting the election scheduled the 11 October 2016.

General Djendéré and his followers kidnapped the current transitional president Michel Kafando, the Prime Minister Isaac Zida and other ministers in the interim government. General Djendéré declared himself live on national television to be the new leader of the "National Democratic Council" in Burkina Faso.

He said that the underlying cause of the coup was that he feared instability after the transitional government had prevented Compaore's supporters from contesting in the election next month.

Protests and unknown death toll

The people of Burkina Faso have acted out civil disobedience in great dissatisfaction and are targeted by military bullets. There are recorded over 60 injured and around a dozen dead (we have to remember that these numbers fluctuate). Despite of this, people continue to show resistance; the streets of the capital Ouagadougou are barricaded, and mobilizations are formed in other provinces as well and women from the Bobo district marched the streets with their cooking spatulas to express their dissatisfaction. NGO’s, trade unions and various organizations have all through statements called on the R.S.P to hand over the power.

The African Union, issued yesterday Friday that it will " suspend, with immediate effect, the participation of Burkina Faso in all AU activities" if the interim government is not restored and the hostages freed.

No dialogue

Senegal’s president Macky Sall, who is as well the chairman of The Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) and and Benin's President Thomas Boni Yayi will act as mediators in the crisis. Both presidents arrived in Burkina yesterday Friday to listen to the different parties. "There is a critical lack of dialogue among actors, and this will negatively affect national unity and cohesion," Sall said late on Friday night after meetings between the different parties in Ouagadougou.

General Djendéré denies being in contact with Compaoré and says that he will "avoid violence that could plunge the country into chaos". He added that he had met some members of the international community and said that he was "considering meeting the different political parties very soon". But the transition officials said that no agreement can be met.

"The mediators are here to help us find a compromise, but there are things that are non-negotiable," said Jean Hobert Bazie, a transitional legislator.

Continued resistance

Michel Kafando transitional president was “released” on Friday but is still not in total freedom and some ministers including the prime minister, remain in house arrest.

I think that with the support of international organizations that the end the coup to allow the transition government to complete its work. We are a few weeks before the elections, no one condones the coup and the population stands strong in its resistance.

Text by...

Thierry Tapsoba

22 years old teacher and writer from Ouagadougou