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Burkina Faso coup: Africanews journalist Ronald Kato shares insight on the situation

Ronald Kato at the euronews studios Lyon Jan 25 2022   -  
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Burkina Faso

**Tokunbo Salako: **Burkina Faso is under new military rule today after rebel soldiers ousted the democratically elected president Roch Christian Kabore.

The move was met with widespread celebrations across the capital, but the EU has called for the immediate release of the president. Ronald Kato, my colleague from our sister service Africanews, has been following the story around. Good to see you Ronald. What do we know about the fate of the president right now?

Ronald Kato: Well, what we know since Monday is that President Roch Christian Kabore is under military custody. He was taken from his residence late Sunday, and he's in the hands of the military. In the evening Monday, the state broadcaster published a letter of resignation attributed to him, in which he said he was leaving power in the interest of the country. 

His Twitter account also stopped posting 19 hours ago, so that suggests he's under detention of sorts. There are new rules, as you say, in Burkina Faso, they call themselves the the popular movement to restore and Safeguard, and they are headed by a lieutenant colonel named Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba.

Tokunbo Salako: The events transpired so quickly this transfer of power, if you like. Can we say that this uprising was therefore popular?

Ronald Kato: Well, on Monday evening, there were several dozen people in the streets chanting, you know, for the military. There are rallies planned today, Tuesday, so that suggests that the coup leaders are getting a relatively good reception. But you could also argue talks that the army is, you know, making political capital or trying to make political capital out of the popular anger and discontent that's existed in the country since 2015 over insecurity. So popular on unpopular. I think the army for now is, you know, saying the words that the civilians in Burkina Faso want to hear.

Tokunbo Salako: OK, so how then closely then to the events of the last few days, you know, compared to events of other coups in the region of recent times?

Ronald Kato: I think one example that comes to two to mind is is its neighbouring Mali. The reasons that were given by the coup leaders, then, to justify the overthrow of president the late now Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in August of 2020 was that he had failed in the fight against a militant insurgency in the north and east of the country. 

The coup leaders in Burkina Faso give the same reasons when the when they began their revolt on Sunday, they said that they needed more men, they needed more resources and they demanded the sacking of top defence chiefs. These are really the same reasons that the junta in neighbouring Mali gave, so it's safe to argue that the similarities between the violent transfer of power in Mali and Burkina Faso is all connected to the capacities of the governments that have since been overthrown in confronting the militant insurgency in both countries.

Tokunbo Salako: Ok Ronald Kato, there with the latest on that uprising in Burkina Faso. Thanks for joining me.

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