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Burkina Faso leader overthrown over leniency on jihadists

In foreground (left), Burkina Faso president Lt. Col Paul-Henri Damiba.

A military captain in Burkina Faso has announced the dethronement of the country’s leader over what he termed as leniency towards jihadists.

Captain Ibrahim Traore has blamed the former Bukinabe leader, Lt Col Damiba, on his inability to firmly deal with an Islamist insurgency as the reason.

He also announced that country’s borders were closed indefinitely and all political activities to be suspended indefinitely.

While assuming power, the now dethroned leader had rallied people on the promise that he would deal with Islamist insurgents in the West African state. However, things have not been in line with what he promised his people, prompting his juniors to stage a coup against his rulership.

Lt Col Damiba’s junta overthrew an elected government in January, citing a failure to halt Islamist attacks.

In January, Lt Col Damiba ousted the then President of Bukinabe, Roch Kaboré, saying that he had failed to deal with growing militant Islamist violence.
“We have more than what it takes to win this war,” the junta chief said when he was sworn in as president in February.

But his administration has also not been able to quell the jihadist violence. On Monday, 11 soldiers were killed when they were escorting a convoy of civilian vehicles in the north of the country.

The country’s army had seen Damiba as someone who is so docile, and not rigorous to deal with the ruthless and unforgiving jihadists.

“Faced with the deteriorating situation, we tried several times to get Damiba to refocus the transition on the security question,” said the statement signed by Traore.

“Damiba’s actions gradually convinced us that his ambitions were diverting away from what we set out to do. We decided this day to remove Damiba,” it said.

In the past few days, the capital Ouagadougou has been a no-go zone area. There have been fireworks all the place, extending up to the presidential residence. Since it assumed self-rule, Bukinabe has had right successful coups.

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