Former Burkina Faso security minister held in probe

2017-12-31 16:08
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Ouagadougou - The former security minister in Burkina Faso's transitional government has been arrested as part of an investigation into an "attempt to destabilise" the country.

"Colonel Denise Auguste Barry was arrested this (Friday) morning in connection with an investigation into an attempt to destabilise the state," a senior gendarmerie officer told AFP on condition of anonymity, adding that it was a "recent" affair.

"For now, he is still being interviewed at the gendarmerie camp," he added.

Communication minister Remis Fulgance Dandjinou confirmed his arrest, saying: "The minister of security (Simon Compaore) has informed us of the investigations that are ongoing and involving Denise Auguste Barry.

"The preliminary inquiry and the investigation continue, and in due course the government will be kept informed," he said.

According to Dandjinou, "there is an administrative part, and maybe there will be a judicial part".

Promoted to security minister in the transitional government led by Yacouba Isaac Zida, Colonel Barry was removed from office by the following President Michel Kafando a few months later.

The transitional government was installed after the fall of President Blaise Compaore, toppled on October 31, 2014 by a popular uprising after 27 years in power.

The dismissal of Colonel Barry, considered Zida's right-hand man, was widely seen as a step to appease the army, which said he was "instrumentalising" civil society organisations who demanded army reforms, particularly the dissolution of the Presidential Security Regiment (RSP).

Colonel Barry had since set up a defence and security studies centre.

Read more on:    burkina faso  |  west africa

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