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Burkina Faso army captain announces overthrow of military government

A Burkina Faso army captain on Friday September 30, announced the ouster of military leader Paul-Henri Damiba and the suspension of the country’s constitution and transitional charter in a statement read on national television.  

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Army Captain Ibrahim Traoré said a group of officers had decided to remove Damiba due to his inability to deal with a worsening Islamist insurgency.

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He announced that Burkina Faso’s borders were closed indefinitely and that all political and civil society activities were suspended.

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Around 15 soldiers in fatigues appeared on the Radio-Television broadcaster shortly before 8pm local time and read out the statement. 

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“We have decided to take our responsibilities, driven by a single ideal – the restoration of security and integrity of our territory,” they said. 

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Reporting from the capital Ouagadougou shortly after the takeover announcement, FRANCE 24’s Sophie Lamotte said a curfew has been imposed from 9pm to 5am local time. 

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“The streets are very calm and there’s a very strong military presence in the capital, especially surrounding the presidential palace and the telecommunication headquarters,” she said. 

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Earlier on Friday, gunfire rang out in Ouagadougou and the state broadcaster went off air amid fears of a coup. Soldiers were seen at the city’s main crossroads, especially in the Ouaga 2000 neighbourhood, but also outside the state television centre.

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