Burkina Faso’s military government has said it had foiled a coup attempt the previous day, almost a year after the country’s leader came to power in a coup himself.
In a statement read out on state television on Wednesday, it said, “A proven coup attempt was foiled on September 26, 2023, by Burkina Faso’s intelligence and security services.
“At present, officers and other alleged participants in this destabilisation attempt have been arrested, and others are being actively sought”.
It said the alleged perpetrators “had the sinister intention of attacking the institutions of the republic and plunging the country into chaos”.
On Tuesday, hundreds of pro-junta demonstrators took to the streets of the capital, Ouagadougou, to show their support, citing rumours of a brewing mutiny against the authorities.
Junta leader Captain Ibrahim Traore seized power on September 30, 2022, in the landlocked country’s second coup in eight months.
The two takeovers were partially triggered by discontent at the failures to stem a raging militant insurgency.
The military government said it would seek to shed “all possible light on this plot”.
It said it “regrets that officers whose oath is to defend their homeland have strayed into an undertaking of this nature, which aims to hinder the Burkinabe people’s march for sovereignty and total liberation from the terrorist hordes trying to enslave them”.
Burkina Faso is one of a growing list of West African countries where the military has taken power, citing the failed promises of elected governments.
It experienced its second coup in 2022 with soldiers ousting Lieutenant Colonel Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba about eight months after he helped overthrow democratically elected president Roch Marc Kabore early in the year.