Burkina Faso President Urges Mutinying Soldiers to Lay Down Arms

Roch Marc Christian Kaboré
Roch Marc Christian Kaboré

Burkina Faso President Roch Kabore emerged on Monday to urge mutinying soldiers to lay down their arms after media reports suggested he had been captured.

“Our nation is going through difficult times. At this precise moment we must safeguard our democratic gains. I invite those who have taken up arms to lay them down in the higher interests of the nation. It is through dialogue and listening that we must resolve our contradictions,” he tweeted.

Government spokesman Alkassoum Maiga denied reports of a military coup on Sunday. He said the civilian government was aware that shooting had broken out at barracks in the capital Ouagadougou but reaffirmed confidence in the loyalty of the armed forces.

Jeune Afrique, a pan-African weekly, cited its sources as saying on Monday that President Kabore and parliamentary leader Allassane Bala Sakande, his potential successor, had been captured by mutinying troops. Kabore was said to be held at military barracks.

Gunfire was reportedly heard outside the presidential residence on Sunday night. A source told Jeune Afrique there were victims but the president was not among them.

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