Burkina Faso coup: Ousted military ruler Damiba in Togo

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Burkina Faso’s ousted military ruler has gone to neighboring Togo after rival officers seized power in a coup on Friday, Togo’s government has said.

Togo had taken in Lt Col Paul-Henri Damiba for the sake of regional peace, Akodah Ayewouadan added.

New military ruler Capt Ibrahim Traoré has urged cabinet ministers to “move faster” to tackle “urgent” problems.

An Islamist insurgency in Burkina Faso has worsened since Lt Col Damiba seized power in January.

On Sunday, religious and community leaders said he had formally resigned after Capt Traoré agreed to meet his conditions.

In a recording widely shared on social media, Lt-Col Damiba said he wished Burkina Faso’s new leader every success. It is not known if he was alone when it was made.

Capt Traoré said Burkina Faso was facing an emergency in every sector,” from security to defense, to health, to social action, to infrastructure”.

It was time for government to “abandon the unnecessary red tape”, he added.

Capt Traoré wants fast solutions to big problems, which some fear signals a turn towards Russia.

Russia and France are engaged in a battle for influence in several former French colonies in West and Central Africa.

At the weekend there were attacks on French institutions after it was reported that Lt Col Damiba was sheltering at a French military base in the capital, Ouagadougou.

France’s foreign ministry said they were the work of “hostile demonstrators” who had been “manipulated by a disinformation campaign against us”.

Some in Ouagadougou chanted pro-Russian slogans and waved Russian flags as they greeted the new junta leader and his convoy on Sunday.

Agencies

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