Burkina Faso Leader Steps Down After Coup

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

OUAGADOUGOU (Worthy News) – An uneasy calm settled Monday in Burkina Faso after military leader Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba agreed to resign following Friday’s coup.

After mediation between Damiba and the new self-proclaimed leader, army Captain Ibrahim Traore, “Damiba himself offered his resignation,” religious and community leaders said in a statement.

He stepped down “to avoid confrontations with serious human and material consequences,” he added.

Security forces had earlier Sunday fired tear gas at dozens of rock-throwing protesters outside the French embassy in Burkina Faso’s capital on Sunday, witnesses said.

The unrest simmered in the West African country following its second coup this year after Traore accused the man he deposed of hiding at a French base to plot a “counteroffensive.”

With French troops watching from the roof, the protesters set fire to barriers outside and lobbed rocks at the structure when the tear gas volleys were fired.

However, the coup leaders claimed Sunday that the situation was under control, urging people to refrain from acts of vandalism and violence targeting the French embassy and a French military base.

“We want to inform the population that the situation is under control and order is being restored,” an army officer said in a statement broadcast on national television. The officer was flanked by Traore and other armed and masked soldiers.

Yet the future remains uncertain in the West African nation. Damiba himself came to power in a coup in January.

He installed himself as leader of the country’s 16 million people after accusing elected president Roch Marc Christian Kaboré of failing to beat back Islamic jihadist fighters. But the insurgency has raged on in the troubled nation.

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