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Published 25th September 2015

Vol 56 No 19


Burkina Faso

The people take on the putschists

Demonstrators protest against the coup on the streets of Ouagadougou on Monday 21 September.  Picture: Theo Renaut / AP/Press Association Images
Demonstrators protest against the coup on the streets of Ouagadougou on Monday 21 September. Picture: Theo Renaut / AP/Press Association Images

After launching a coup, soldiers loyal to ousted President Compaoré face conflict with the national army and activists on the street

The presence of coup leader General Gilbert Diendéré, flanked by soldiers from the Régiment de sécurité présidentielle (RSP), to welcome West African leaders at Ouagadougou airport on 23 September casts further doubt on the negotiations to end the coup. Diendéré has apologised publicly for his role in the coup but as the leaders arrived the RSP was still moving around Ouagadougou and guarding the state television headquarters. RSP officers were blatantly breaking their commitment to return to barracks as part of the peace deal. The previous day West African leaders had a backed the deal to end the coup in a extraordinary meeting chaired by Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja. They agreed to fly to Ouagadougou to oversee the reinstatement of the civilian Interim President Michel Kafando on the following day. Kafando has told journalists he is back in the saddle but there are doubts about the future of the interim government and the rules for the national elections due next month.

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BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

Is a Buhari doctrine emerging? Despite the lengthy delays in forming a cabinet, President Muhammadu Buhari has been much quicker to appoint his top military and security officers and to push ahead with a series of bilateral and multilateral summits. Not only did he chair the regional leaders' meeting to tackle the Burkina Faso coup, having unequivocally condemned it five days earlier, he has agreed on the ...

Is a Buhari doctrine emerging? Despite the lengthy delays in forming a cabinet, President Muhammadu Buhari has been much quicker to appoint his top military and security officers and to push ahead with a series of bilateral and multilateral summits. Not only did he chair the regional leaders' meeting to tackle the Burkina Faso coup, having unequivocally condemned it five days earlier, he has agreed on the agenda for a new regional security conference with French President François Hollande. The plan for this meeting, aimed at strengthening military coordination and sharing intelligence about Boko Haram's operations in Nigeria and its Francophone neighbours, was discussed during Buhari's trip to Paris on 14-16 September.

Flanked by his National Security Advisor, General Babagana Monguno, Buhari told French officials that Nigeria would be taking a far greater role in regional security. Buhari talks about the 'concentric circles' of Nigeria's foreign policy, which puts peace and security on its borders as the top priority.

France, traditionally wary of a militarily assertive Nigeria, now finds its forces overstretched in Africa as problems multiply in its operations in Mali and Central African Republic, so it wants to encourage Buhari. Several other governments, such as Kenya, South Africa, Britain and the United States, are also keen to discuss security matters with Buhari when he arrives in New York this week for the United Nations General Assembly meetings.

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