Burkina Faso President Roch Kabore has been detained in a military camp, according to a West African diplomat and four security sources .
Kabore was apprehended after sustained gunfire was heard from military camps in the capital, Ouagadougou, on Sunday night, with soldiers demanding more support for their fight against Islamist militants.
The army had seized power, according to the government.
As of Monday morning, Kabore’s exact whereabouts and situation were unknown, with conflicting reports circulating among diplomatic and security sources.
Several bullet-riddled armored presidential vehicles could be seen near the president’s residence. One of them was splattered with blood.
Three armored vehicles and balaclava-clad soldiers were stationed in front of the state broadcaster’s headquarters.
On Monday, government sources could not be reached.
In recent months, Kabore has seen waves of street protests as anger grows over the frequent killing of civilians and soldiers by militants, some of whom have ties to the Islamic State and al Qaeda.
In November, a militant attack on a gendarmerie post in Inata, in the northern region of Soum, killed 49 military police officers and four civilians.
The forces stationed there ran out of food and were forced to slaughter animals in the surrounding area for two weeks, it was later revealed.
Islamist militants control large swaths of the country and have forced residents in some areas to follow their interpretation of Islamic law, while the military’s fight against the insurgency has strained scarce national resources.
Bored, Kabore vowed in November to end “dysfunction” in the military, promising an investigation into the Inata attack and an anti-corruption campaign.
Some of the rage in Burkina Faso in 2021 is also directed at former colonial ruler France, which has deployed thousands of troops to West Africa’s Sahel region to combat militants.
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