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France condemns attacks on embassy in Ouagadougou following military coup

Attacks on French embassy in Ouagadougou   -  
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Burkina Faso

Angry demonstrators in Burkina Faso attacked the French embassy in the capital, Ouagadougou on Saturday, 1 October.

They were protesting in support of the country's new military leader, Ibrahim Traore and accused France of harbouring interim president Lt Col Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, who was ousted on Friday.

Uncertainty continued in Ouagadougou on Saturday evening after a statement by the army said it did not recognise the seizure of power the previous day by soldiers. 

The whereabout of Damiba is unclear but French authorities have denied any involvement and condemned the violence. 

In a statement, France said the security of its compatriots was its priority following the military coup.

Meanwhile, protesters shouted angry, anti-France slogans including: "We don't want France anymore. We no longer want France to be in Africa" and "Down with France."

Some added: "We call on Russia" and suggested Russian intervention was preferable to any involvement by their former colonisers. 

One demonstrator said: "We want frank cooperation with Russia. That's why we hold the three flags. The Russian, Malian and Burkinabe flags."

Another explained: "Damiba has failed and the people are not happy.  And we are indeed going out today to show the whole world that we do not want this man anymore. 

"At the moment, we have very seasoned soldiers who have taken power and we will support them until terrorism is driven out of our country."

Damiba had promised to tackle jihadist violence but critics accused him of being too close to France which maintains a military presence in the region.  

French spokeswoman Anne-Claire Legendre said condemned the violence against the embassy and said the protests were "the work of hostile demonstrators, manipulated by a campaign of disinformation against us."

She added: "Our nationals have been instructed to exercise the utmost vigilance and to remain at home."

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