WATCH Burkina Faso Protesters Set Fire to Barriers Outside French Embassy in Ouagadougou
14:49 GMT 02.10.2022 (Updated: 17:04 GMT 31.07.2023)
A second military coup in a year took place in Burkina Faso on Friday. The country's new leader, Captain Ibrahim Traore, promised to tackle national security problems.
Videos have been doing the rounds on social media, showing protesters setting barriers outside the French Embassy in capital Ouagadougou on fire amid unrest that was sparked by the coup earlier this week.
According to AFP journalist, tear gas volleys were fired from the French Embassy in Ouagadougou at protesters who gathered near the building on Sunday after the new military government in charge of the country accused Paris of sheltering the deposed former leader.
The toppled president
, Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, “is believed to have taken refuge in the French base at Kamboinsin in order to plan a counter-offensive to stir up trouble in our defense and security forces,” the ruling army officers said in a statement read out on national television.
Earlier, the French foreign ministry has denied any involvement in the crisis
, denying accusations of sheltering the deposed leader in a French military base.
1 October 2022, 18:17 GMT
Coup leader Ibrahim Traore said in an interview to Burkina Faso’s Radio Omega that he has no intention
to harm Damiba.
“We have no intention to bring Damiba to justice. We only wish that he would go rest because he is tired, and as for us we are going to continue to do the work,” Ibrahim Traore said.
On Friday, Burkina Faso's local media reported that Lt. Col. Dambia, the leader of interim government which came to power via a coup in January, was overthrown by a group of military officers led by Traore.
The captain explained in a statement on national television that the coup was organized due to Damiba’s alleged failures in the fight against extremists whom he had promised to get rid of at the beginning of his reign. Traore also vowed that “all fighting forces [would] refocus on the security issue
and the restoration of the integrity of our territory”.
The people of Burkina Faso have repeatedly protested the presence of the French forces in the African country.
In July 2022, anti-French protests arose in Ouagadougou. The protests were held under the slogans “Down with the [EU],
France's accomplice", "No to cooperation agreements with France", "France is imperialist, tyrant, parasitic, out", according to AfricaNews
19 September 2022, 15:57 GMT
In March, Burkinabe went to the streets of the capital, demanding that Burkina Faso authorities end military cooperation with France in favor of Russian support in tackling the country's security problems. Protesters were waving Russian flags, per reports
The demonstrators chastised France as "our colonizer," adding that it is "plundering our wealth" and also "creating terrorism by supplying arms to the terrorists [...] who are fighting our soldiers on the front line".
Another participant of the protest reportedly said that Russia was the one "country in the whole world" that "worked positively to remove the terrorist hydra in Syria, Venezuela, Central African Republic and neighboring Mali."
Anti-French Sentiment in Africa
A series of anti-French protests swept through other African countries as well.
On September 18, 2022 demonstrators in Niger marched through the streets of the country's capital, Niamey, in protest against
French troops who had recently been relocated to the country after their withdrawal from Mali in August.
The protestors were holding banners saying “Criminal French Army - Get Out” and “The colonial army of Barkhane must go". Many held Russian flags.
19 September 2022, 10:43 GMT
On May 15, 2022, students in Chad protested against the presence of French troops in the country, blaming Paris in stealing the nation's natural resources, and reportedly chanting “Chad is Free and France is out,” according to reports