Burkina Faso’s military junta announced on Wednesday that a coup attempt had been thwarted the previous day by security and intelligence services, without providing specifics on what had happened according to multiple reports.
In a statement, it declared that officers and others had conspired to destabilize the country with “the dark intention of attacking the institutions of the Republic and plunging our country into chaos.”
The junta did not identify anyone but mentioned that some arrests had been made, and searches were ongoing for others. It emphasized, “Investigations will help unmask the instigators of this plot.”
The military prosecutor later revealed that four individuals had been detained, and two were currently evading capture. In a statement, it announced that an investigation had been initiated on Wednesday based on “credible allegations about a plot against state security implicating officers.”
Additionally, the junta took action on Monday by suspending the French news magazine Jeune Afrique for publishing “untruthful” articles that reported tension and discontent within Burkina Faso’s armed forces.
Junta leader Captain Ibrahim Traoré seized power on September 30, 2022, marking the landlocked country’s second coup in eight months. Both takeovers were partly driven by discontent over failures to contain a rampant jihadist insurgency that had infiltrated from neighbouring Mali in 2015.
Earlier this month, the country’s military prosecutor disclosed that three soldiers had been apprehended and formally charged with conspiring against the ruling junta.
Based on a tipoff, investigators were alerted to the activities of “soldiers and former soldiers working in intelligence” who were conducting surveillance on residences and other locations frequented by prominent figures within the junta, including Traoré.
Their objective was to “undermine… the transitional phase,” a term denoting the interim military governance leading up to promised elections.
Following Traoré’s assumption of power, military prosecutors in December 2022 also reported an endeavour to “disrupt state institutions.”
They attributed this effort to civilians and a lieutenant colonel named Emmanuel Zoungrana.