The French government has rejected allegations by the new military junta in Burkina Faso to the effect that they are supporting ousted leader Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba.
The allegation was leveled by the Captain Ibrahim Traore-led junta that took power on September 30, 2022, with a promise to restore security across the West African nation.
According to an October 1, 2022 statement read on national TV, RTB, a member of the new junta, Sous-Lieutenant Jean-Baptiste Kabre, said the former leader of the MPSR – name of the junta, had refused to leave power quietly.
Kabre alleged that Sandaogo Damiba was planning a “counter-offensive” and claimed further that he’s doing this from a French base.
In an October 1, 2022 statement from the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, France denied the allegation and said it was not hosting Damiba in any of its facilities.
“France formally denies any involvement in the events underway since yesterday in Burkina Faso.
“The camp where the French forces are located has never hosted Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, nor has our embassy,” the statement read.
Read the complete statement below:
STATEMENT BY THE SPOKESPERSON OF THE MINISTRY FOR EUROPE AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS
October 1, 2022
France formally denies any involvement in the events underway since yesterday in Burkina Faso.
The camp where the French forces are located has never hosted Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, nor has our embassy.
New junta leader Captain Traore’s announced the takeover of executive power and deposition of Damiba, barely 10 months after the later seized power from democratically elected Christian Roch Marc Kabore.
The junta dissolved the government and the transitional national assembly as well as imposed a curfew and closed all the country’s borders.
The overthrow was premised on continued deterioration of the insecurity situation even as terrorists continue to launch deadly raids on security forces and the local population.
ECOWAS and AU sound condemnation
The West African regional bloc, Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, has condemned the September 30, 2022 coup that took place in Burkina Faso, where a new military junta overthrew another.
What started out as an exchange of heavy gunfire on Friday morning was confirmed late in the evening with a broadcast on National TV announcing the takeover.
In a statement issued from the ECOWAS Commission hours after the announcement, the bloc said it firmly condemned the incident at a time the Sandaogo Damiba-led junta was making progress on an orderly return to constitutional order by July 1, 2024.
The junta said a new leader – civilian or military will be be announced in due course, but before that some measures put in place include dissolution of the government, the Transitional Legislative Assembly (ALT), and the Transition Charter as well as the closure of borders.
The AU statement signed by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission was titled: ‘The Chairperson of the African Union Commission unequivocally condemns the second takeover of power by force in Burkina Faso,’ and it read:
“In strong support of ECOWAS, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, and in conformity with the Lomé Declaration of Year 2000, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and the Accra Declaration on Unconstitutional Changes of Government, expresses his deep concern about the resurgence of unconstitutional changes of Government in Burkina Faso and elsewhere on the African Continent.
“The Chairperson calls upon the military to immediately and totally refrain from any acts of violence or threats to the civilian population, civil liberties, human rights, and ensure strict compliance with electoral deadlines for the restoration of Constitutional order by 1 July 2024, at the latest.
“The Chairperson reaffirms the continued support of the African Union to the people of Burkina Faso to ensure peace, stability and development of the country.”