Harare — Four officers were arrested in Burkina Faso, barely a day after the military junta claimed to have prevented an effort to stage a coup, RFI reports.
The junta declared on state television that "Burkina Faso's intelligence and security services foiled a proven coup attempt on September 26, 2023."
The four officers are suspected of being involved in a "conspiracy against state security", military prosecutor Ahmed Ferdinand Sountoura is reported to have said. According to the report, officers and others plotted to create instability in the nation with "the dark intention of attacking the institutions of the Republic and plunging our country into chaos."
Later, the military prosecutor said that two more suspects were still at large.
It has been over a year since the country's leader, Captain Ibrahim Traore, took control in a coup. An Al Qaeda and Islamic State-affiliated insurgency that has been destabilising Burkina Faso and its neighbours in the Sahel area of West Africa, is said to have contributed to the coup.
Early in September, fighting with insurgents resulted in the deaths of over 50 Burkinabe soldiers and volunteer fighters, the highest toll in months. Militant strikes have claimed the lives of almost 17,000 soldiers and civilians, according to a count by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), an NGO that monitors armed conflicts. It is one of the worst internal displacement disasters in Africa, displacing almost two million people.
Investigators were told that "soldiers and former soldiers working in intelligence" were snooping around the residences and other places frequented by important junta members, including Traore.
In January 2022, a coup by the Burkinabe military forces overthrew elected president Roch Marc Christian Kabore. Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, Kabore's adversary, was toppled on September 30, 2022.