Protesters in Burkina Faso attack the French embassy

Nafter the coup in West Africa Burkina Faso French institutions have become the target of sometimes violent protests. Dozens of supporters of the new junta leader Ibrahima Traoré threw stones at the French embassy in the capital Ouagadougou on Sunday and set fire to barriers in front of the building, a reporter from the AFP news agency reported.

Security forces used tear gas to disperse the protesters. French soldiers were stationed on the roof of the embassy. Officers responsible for the coup had accused the previous junta boss Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba of hiding in a military base of the former colonial power France in order to plan a “counteroffensive”. Rumors circulated online that France was protecting Damiba.

The French foreign ministry condemned the “violence against our embassy in the strongest possible terms” and blamed it on “enemy protesters manipulated by a disinformation campaign”. Also on Saturday there was a fire in front of the embassy and an attack on the Institut français in Ouagadougou.

On Friday, a group of military officials deposed Damiba, who had only been in power since January, and named Captain Ibrahim Traoré as his successor. The rebels cited “the continuous deterioration of the security situation” in the country as justification.

There is no information about Damiba’s whereabouts. On Saturday evening, according to a statement published on the official Facebook page of the President’s Office, he appealed to the putschists “to come to their senses in order to avoid a fratricidal war”. The general staff of the Burkinabe military also does not seem to recognize the coup. In a statement on Saturday, he described the events as an “internal crisis” within the armed forces.

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