Burkina Faso Arrests Three Soldiers Over ‘Plot’ Against Regime

The vehicle carrying Burkina Faso’s new junta leader Capitain Ibrahim Traore leaves the General Sangoule Lamizana military camp in Ouagadougou on October 8, 2022, following the funerals of 27 soldiers killed as they escorted 207-vehicles in a convoy in Gaskinde.

The country’s military prosecutor announced on Friday that three soldiers had been arrested and charged with plotting against the ruling junta.

Investigators received a tip last month regarding “soldiers and former soldiers working in intelligence” searching out the residences and other locations used by senior junta leaders, including strongman Captain Ibrahim Traore, he said in a statement.

Their goal was to “destabilise… the transition”, it said, referring to a term used to describe interim military rule before promised elections.

The three were arrested after investigations led to their arrest, and an examining magistrate ordered their detention.

They have been charged with “military plot, breach of military orders, plotting against state security, criminal association, and endangerment,” according to military prosecutor Major Alphonse Zorma.

The three have been identified as Warrant Officer Windinmalegde Kabore, Sergeant Brice Ismael Ramde, and former corporal Sami Dah, who was previously convicted in a state-sponsored scheme in 2015.

“(They) unequivocally admitted the facts,” said Zorma.

Since winning independence from France in 1960 as the Republic of Upper Volta, the impoverished Sahel state has been one of Africa’s most volatile countries, with few periods of peace.

It experienced two coups last year, both fueled by military outrage over the toll of a long-running Islamist insurgency.

Traore became the world’s youngest leader outside of royalty on September 30, 2022, at the age of 34.

Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, who had deposed Burkina’s elected president, Roch Marc Christian Kabore, was deposed by him.

Shortly after Traore’s takeover, military prosecutors in December said there had been an attempt to “destabilise state institutions”.

Those behind it, they said, were civilians and a lieutenant-colonel named Emmanuel Zoungrana.

According to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), at than 16,000 civilians, army, and police have killed in Burkina Faso since Islamists in neighboring Mali commenced their campaign in 2015.

More than two million people have been displaced, resulting in one of Africa’s biggest internal displacement disasters.

Traore has promised a return to democracy with presidential elections by July 2024.

Written by PH

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