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African Union Suspends Burkina Faso in Response to Coup


A man holds a portait of Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Damiba who has taken the reins in Burkina Faso, in Ouagadougou, Jan. 25, 2022.

Exactly one week after Burkina Faso’s president was overthrown in a military coup, the African Union has suspended the west African nation.

The AU’s Political Affairs, Peace and Security Department announced on Twitter Monday that it had voted “to suspend the participation of #BurkinaFaso in all AU activities until the effective restoration of constitutional order in the country.”

The announcement came as a delegation from the regional Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was traveling to Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, to meet with junta leader Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba, just three days after ECOWAS suspended Burkina Faso from its activities. A special United Nations envoy was also taking part in Monday’s talks.

Soldiers ousted President Roch Marc Christian Kabore last Monday after a day of fighting near the presidential palace in Ouagadougou. The move came amid rising anger among the rank-and-file stemming from the failure to adequately equip them to fight terror groups linked to al-Qaida and Islamic State since 2015. Rumors of a coup had been rife for weeks after a military base in the north of the country was overrun by terrorists in November, killing 49 military members.

The junta suspended the constitution, dissolved the National Assembly and closed the country’s borders immediately after the takeover.

Burkina Faso joins Mali and Guinea in being suspended by the African Union following military coups.

Some information for this report came from Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

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