Soldiers Engage In Mutiny, Detain President Of African Country After Battle At Palace

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Soldiers in Burkina Faso staged a mutiny and said they detained the country’s president Monday after seizing a military barracks and engaging in shooting fights in the capital city, the Associated Press reported.

Civilians celebrated the rebellion in the streets before being dispersed with tear gas, according to the AP.

A statement from President Roch Marc Christian Kabore’s Twitter account urged the insurgents to lay down their weapons, but it is unclear if Kabore actually issued the statement himself. “We must, in this precise moment, preserve our democratic norms,” the tweet read.

Two mutinous soldiers told the AP that they had Kabore in custody, but Kabore’s government initially downplayed the rebellion and denied that Kabore had been taken. The soldiers said the mutiny had been planned by about 100 soldiers since August 2021, according to AP.

Kabore, who was elected in 2015, has faced criticism for his handling of Islamist extremism. Attacks by al Qaeda and ISIS have resulted in thousands of deaths and an estimated 1.5 million displacements in the region since 2016, the AP reported. Burkina Faso was ruled by Blaise Compaore, who took power by force, from 1987 to 2014, a time during which the country experienced relative stability, according to the AP.

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