Military officials in Burkina Faso confirmed Thursday that they had taken control of the country. The announcment comes after AP reported that armed forces personnel assigned to protect the president had arrested the transitional head of state and prime minister.
"The patriotic forces, grouped together in the National Council for Democracy, have decided today to put an end to the deviant transitional regime," a military official said on RTB state television.
Burkina Faso’s military said it had stripped interim President Michel Kafando from his powers and dissolved the government.
The head of the Presidential Guard, Gen. Gilbert Diendere, has assumed power in Burkina Faso, according to local reports.
Military officials went on state television to announce that the country's borders are closed and that a curfew has been put in place.
The move comes after the elite Republican Guard seized Kafando, Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida, and two ministers on Wednesday.
The military coup comes just weeks before national elections were to take place Oct. 11. According to Al Jazeera, the people of Burkina Faso were hoping the elections would strengthen the country’s democracy.
The Guard has been involved in the country’s politics since former President Blaise Compaore was toppled after a popular uprising in October last year.
Reuters reported that hundreds of people took to the streets of the capital Ouagadougou late on Wednesday to protest against the coup. The protest was received with military action, including warning shots, to disperse the crowds.
According to a military official, the interim government “distanced itself from the objectives of refounding our democracy" for blocking Compaore supporters from running in the elections next month.
A journalist identified as Fanny Noaro, who is based in the capital Ouagadougou, told Al Jazeera gunfire could be heard on the streets of the city.
“There is a lot of military on the street [...] there is also no information about the transitional president and prime minister and there is no information if they are dead or alive," she said.
Source : Telesur