Burkina Faso government on Friday announced that it has foiled a coup attempt by former troops of the presidential guard (RSP).
The Interior Minister Simon Compaoré said the coup which was planned by former guards of President Blaise Compaore was scheduled for October 8.
“A group of about 30 men composed mainly of NCOs (non-commissioned officers) and ranked officers of the previous RSP planned to attack several targets at the presidency in Kossyam (Presidential Palace) to take power by force,” the Minister of the Interior announced.
A group of about 30 men composed mainly of NCOs (non-commissioned officers) and ranked officers of the previous RSP planned to attack several targets at the presidency in Kossyam (presidential palace) to take power by force.
The minister said the coup planners wanted to release prisoners from the previous coup of September 2015 and hold some officials hostage before attacking the presidential palace.
“There was no early implementation of the plan put together by Chief Warrant Officer Gaston Coulibaly, assisted by Sergeant Kalifa Zerbo and Private First Class Issaka Yelemou all of the previous RSP,” according to the minister.
He explained that the plot was discovered on October 8 when gendarmes arrested four people with “suspicious behavior” during a routine check on the Nazinon bridge (140 km south of Ouagadougou).
“During their transfer to the territorial brigade at Po (border town south of the country) for a thorough verification of their identity, they tried to disarm the police and during the fight, two of them were killed and a policeman was shot in the stomach,” Compaore said.
Ten soldiers involved in the alleged plot were referred to the military prosecutor of Ouagadougou and about twenty are still in custody. In total 42 people were heard including 32 soldiers and 10 civilians, according to the minister.
Chief Warrant Officer Coulibaly is being “actively sought” by the Burkinabe services.
The minister said the coup leaders had also prepared a “plan B” in case of a failure by creating chaos and then seizing military weapons in the guard posts “to shoot at all angles in the garrisons.”