This is what you should know about the arrest of Burkina Faso’s presidential guards
In 2015, Burkina Faso experienced civil and political unrest with seeming respite in the election of new president, Roch Marc Christian Kabaore, on the 29th of December, 2015. However, the peace and calm was thrown into the wind with an attack that took place on the 15th of January, 2016. Islamist militants reportedly launched an attack on a hotel and restaurant in which 30 people were killed, most of which are foreigners.
While the nation and its authorities are still trying to grapple with the terrific terrorist attack, the Burkina Faso’s armory was reportedly raided on Friday, the 22nd. Although the army officials could not ascertain why the rifles and rocket launchers taken during the raid were not loaded and no ammunition was missing, it still published the names and images of the disbanded Presidential guards. So far, 11 out of its 13 members have been arrested, the army are still on the lookout for the rest. Many have noted that these two incidents early in Kabaore’s presidential term, suggest that the country’s political stability is still unpredictable.
Members of the former presidential guard are the primary suspects
The presidential guard may be the prime suspect in the raid given their role during the protests that led to the ousting of the former president, Blaise Compaore. After Compaore had resigned as the president of Burkina Faso, Micheal Kafando was elected as the interim President in November, however, he was overthrown by in a coup by Gilbert Diendere, the head of the Presidential Guard, (who was also Compaore’s close ally). Within the week, Kafando was restored and Diendere was jailed for treason, while the presidential guard was disbanded.
Is this attack a ploy to bring Compaore back into power?
The former presidential guard’s role in the six day coup against the interim government in Burkina Faso last year, where members of the cabinet were held hostage in a bid to assist Compaore prolong his 27-year rule has shown their loyalty to the former president.
While Aljazeera has reported that a civilian, who has been described as ‘religious’ was arrested in connection with the raid, most Burkina Faso papers have yet to suggest that there is any link between the January 15th terrorist attack and the armory raid. However, in light of the raid, the Burkinabe army may have reasons to believe that the defunct group is still working closely with Compaore.
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