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Burkina Faso’s Military Ousts Leader Damiba

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Burkina Faso’s army captain, Ibrahim Traore, declared on Friday that the army had ousted military leader Paul Henri Damiba. The army captain reasoned that he had ousted the military leader because he was unable to tackle an Islamist insurgency.

Lt. Col. Paul Henri Damiba took power in a coup eight months ago.

In his statement, Traore mentioned that the group of officers that helped Damiba seize power in January this year had realized that, amid an increasing Islamic insurgency, the leader was unable to take control of the situation. He also informed of the borders that remain closed indefinitely and all political activities were suspended.

In January, when Lt. Col. Damiba came to power, he cited the same reason for overthrowing the West African country’s then-elected government.

Traore’s signed statement was read by another military officer in a televised address. “Faced with the deteriorating situation, we tried several times to get Damiba to refocus the transition on the security question,” the statement read.

However, his administration also proved incapable of quelling the jihadist violence. Earlier this week, the jihadists killed 11 soldiers while they were escorting a convoy of civilian vehicles in the north of Burkina Faso.

Earlier on Friday, Lt. Col. Damiba urged the population to remain calm after heavy gunfire was heard in parts of the capital. The announcement came just after Damiba had returned from addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

In January, Damiba ousted President Roch Kabore and took control of the power while promising the people of Burkina Faso that he would secure the country. However, violence in the country has continued, and political tensions have grown in recent months.

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