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Burkina Faso: Military prosecutor denies pressure to withdraw Soro arrest warrant

Burkina Faso: Military prosecutor denies pressure to withdraw Soro arrest warrant

Burkina Faso

The Military prosecutor in Ouagadougou has denied there’s pressure to withdraw an international arrest warrant issued in January for the Speaker of the Ivorian National Assembly.

Guillaume Soro is believed to have supported an abortive coup on September 17 2015 against the transitional government of Burkina Faso.

“We have a bilateral agreement with Côte d’Ivoire which makes it possible to extradite nationals. But a state can judge its (own) national if it does not want to extradite him. This is included in an agreement we signed in 2014” military prosecutor Lt. Col. Norbert Koudougou told journalists at a news conference.

We have a bilateral agreement with Côte d'Ivoire which makes it possible to extradite nationals

Lt. Koudougou insisted the judge hearing the case of the failed September coup “works independently” and cannot reverse an action he has initiated.

In leaked telephone conversations, the leader of the Ivorian legislature and Burkina Faso’s former Foreign Minister, Djibril Bassole were allegedly heard discussing ways of supporting the coup which was led by Gen. Gilbert Dienderé.

The military in Ouagadougou wants Soro extradited but Abidjan will not budge.

The arrest warrant has without a doubt heightened tensions betwen the two countries.

Burkina Faso’s newly elected President, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré recently said on the sidelines of the AU summit in January that the maatter would be resolved using diplomatic channels.

Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast were once part of the same French colony. Around 4 million citizens of Burkina Faso live in its wealthier southern neighbour, many of them farmers who have helped make Ivory Coast the world’s leading cocoa producer.

The elite Presidential Security Regiment of former president Blaise Compaoré seized power on September 17 for a week temporarily derailing the country’s transition back to democratic rule following the ouster of Compaoré.

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