Monday, January 17, 2022

Eight Burkina soldiers charged with conspiracy to ‘destabilize institutions’

Burkina Faso institutions, military prosecutors and security sources said on Tuesday that eight soldiers, including a high-ranking commander, had been detained over a “conspiracy to destabilize”.

The military prosecutor’s office in the capital Ouagadougou said it had learned of “an allegation of a project planned by a group of soldiers to destabilize the institutions of the republic”.

The office learned of the plot on Saturday after “a member of the gang” denounced the plan, a statement said.

An investigation has been initiated and eight soldiers have been taken into custody for questioning, the statement said.

The West African nation’s government has come under constant pressure over its failures to stop the bloodshed of six years of brutal jihadist insurgency that has killed nearly 2,000 people and forced 1.4 million from their homes.

Security sources told AFP that Lieutenant Colonel Emmanuel Zaungrana, commander of the Western forces fighting jihadists in the country, was among those arrested.

One of the security sources said that “suspicion of conspiracy to destabilize (government) with influence abroad” had hung over Zaungrana and several soldiers since the protests in November.

Hundreds of people took to the streets on 27 November to protest the state’s inability to stop jihadist violence, with about 10 injured in clashes between protesters and police.

Earlier in November, tensions escalated after a jihadist attack on the northern Inata base killed 57 people, including 53 police officers.

Two weeks before the Inata attack, police based there had warned officers of their precarious condition, saying they were so short of food and relied on poaching to feed.

To quell public anger over jihadist violence last month, President Roch Marc Christian Cabore accepted the government’s resignation.

Lasina Zerbo, a former UN official who was installed as prime minister of the new government, has called for “solidarity” in the face of the jihadist threat.

Like its neighbors Mali and Niger, Burkina Faso has been mired in a spiral of violence since 2015, attributed to jihadist groups linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State terrorist group.

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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