Sanef head describes scene in Burkina Faso

2015-09-17 10:21
A man demonstrates near the presidential palace after soldiers arrested Burkina Faso’s transitional president and prime minister in Ouagadougou. (Theo Renaut, AP)

A man demonstrates near the presidential palace after soldiers arrested Burkina Faso’s transitional president and prime minister in Ouagadougou. (Theo Renaut, AP)

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Ouagadougou - The usually bustling streets of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso were unusually quiet on Thursday morning after overnight violence in the West African country saw the detention of the interim president and prime minister.

"People are staying indoors... Normally at this time you have cars and scooters on the streets but today there is nothing," said SA National Editors’ Forum director Mathatha Tsedu, who is in Burkina Faso for a media conference.

“Sporadic shots [were] heard but we’re told it's to keep people back from the revolution square," he said.

The offices of former Burkina Faso president Blaise Campaore were torched overnight, and interim President Michel Kafando and Prime Minister Lieutenant Colonel Yacouba Isaac Zida were still being held.

Members of the presidential security unit barred the transitional leaders from leaving on Wednesday, and were seen putting up barricades around the presidential palace, AP reported.

“The most senior person in government who is still free is Moumina Cheriff Sy who is the interim speaker,” said Tsedu.

Sy urged the Burkinabe people to mobilise and defend their revolution and crowds have gathered at the freedom square, which is where the gunshots were heard from.

Sy is in a secure place at the moment, said Tsedu.

Tsedu could not see any heavy police presence in the area where he was staying, and said although he had already heard sounds of gun shots on Thursday morning, he did not feel threatened.

"I am preparing to [still] go to the conference," he said.

Reuters reported on Thursday morning that Kafando has been stripped of his functions and the government dissolved.

Read more on:    yacouba isaac zida  |  michel kafando  |  blaise compaore  |  burkina faso  |  west africa

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