On Thursday, September 28th, Burkina Faso’s military rulers unveiled they had successfully foiled meticulously planned coup attempt that took place on Tuesday, September 26th. The participants of the coup, identified as a faction within the army, planned to seize power and “plunge the nation into chaos,” as articulated in the military’s statement. This incident is a stark reminder of the ongoing political unrest that has been a hallmark of Burkina Faso’s recent history, a nation troubled by military interventions and a relentless jihadist insurgency since 2015.
Captain Ibrahim Traoré, who ascended to power on September 30th, 2022, is at the helm of the military government. This recent coup attempt is a manifestation of the deeper narrative of political instability that has engulfed the nation, especially given that Traoré’s takeover was the second coup within a span of eight months.
The military government expressed profound regret that officers, who are sworn to defend their homeland, were embroiled in such a destabilizing coup attempt. The military government also underscored their unwavering commitment to investigate the intricacies of this plot and voiced disappointment in officers who veered from their solemn oath.
The government’s statement resonated with a broader sentiment that such actions are a significant impediment to the Burkinabe people’s quest for sovereignty and liberation from the clutches of terrorist factions.
Earlier this month, a similar nefarious plot was uncovered, leading to the arrest and charging of three soldiers who were conspiring against the ruling junta. Subsequent investigations unearthed a network of soldiers, current and former, operating in intelligence capacities, meticulously scouting locations frequented by key junta figures, including Traoré. Their objective was to destabilize the transitional phase that is paving the way to promised elections.
The jihadist insurgency has exacted a heavy toll on Burkina Faso, resulting in the deaths of over 17,000 civilians and troops, as per the data collated by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED). The unrelenting jihadist attacks, coupled with the internal displacement of over two million people, underscore the monumental struggle for stability that lies ahead.
In the capital city of Ouagadougou, a massive congregation of pro-military government demonstrators rallied to show their unwavering support for the military rulers. This was a direct response to rumors of a mutiny that were circulating on social media platforms.