Burkina Faso military junta reopens country's borders/ Burkina Faso residents condemn military coup

Sep 23, 2015 Less than a month before elections, General Gilbert Diendere, the former right-hand man to toppled President Blaise Compaore, seized power in Burkina Faso at the head of a military coup.

The chaos was ushered in after the presidential guard arrested interim President Michel Kafando, Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida and two ministers. President Kafando, who was sworn in as transitional president in November last year, was tasked to lead the country to elections next month.

A spokesman for the coup leaders hinted at a political agenda to return to power ousted President  Blaise Compaore, who has remained in exile in Ivory Coast since being toppled in October last year.

However General Diendere maintained that he had no contact with former president Blaise Compaore. He went on to say that the way the interim government ran the country in preparation for the elections had forced the presidential guard to act.

The coup, which has sparked condemnation from former colonial power France, the United States and the United Nations, has effectively quashed the country’s hopes of a smooth transition to a democratic government.

Speaking on Burkina Faso state television, Lieutenant Colonel Mamadou Bamba announced that the borders to the country had been reopened a few days after the coup.

“The president of the National Democratic Council, given the announcement on September 17th 2015, has decided that the land and air borders of Burkina Faso are open from today, September 18th 2015, at twelve o’clock,”

Residents of Ouagadougou have seriously condemned the military coup, some of which took to the street for a protest.

Speaking to reporters, Bakary Zongo a resident of Ouagadougou said:

 “People started to come, people started to come. In front of us we saw a V8 military vehicle that drove directly into them and they started shooting, killing people. So people started to fall.”

Another resident, Adama Ouattara said:

“The current situation is really regrettable for a country who at the moment is on good terms with the international community. Burkinabes must maintain an honest and sincere dialogue. Even we don’t understand what is happening now. We can’t understand how the same people who in the past supported the population, in one way or another, are now taking us hostage.”

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