Burkina Faso military leader Paul-Henri Damiba has been deposed in the country’s second coup in a year, as army Captain Ibrahim Traore took charge, dissolving the transitional government and suspending the constitution.
Traore said on Friday evening that a group of officers had decided to remove Damiba due to his inability to deal with a worsening armed uprising in the country. The captain was previously head of special forces unit “Cobra” in the northern region of Kaya.
“We have decided to take our responsibilities, driven by a single ideal: the restoration of security and integrity of our territory,” announced soldiers on state television and radio.
It is the second takeover in eight months for the West African state. Damiba took power in a coup in January that overthrew former President Roch Kabore, also due in part to frustration over the worsening insecurity.
Burkina Faso has been struggling to contain rebel groups, including some associated with al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS).
Reporting from Dakar, Senegal, Al Jazeera correspondent Nicolas Haque said with 40 percent of Burkina Faso out of the control of the state, there is growing frustration over security in the country.
Haque said the leaders of the last coup also had promised to deal with the armed groups. “There’s a feeling – when I speak to people who are on the streets of Ouagadougou – of deja vu,” he said.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) strongly condemned the coup on Friday, saying that it came at an “inopportune” time when progress was being made towards a return to constitutional order.
“ECOWAS reaffirms its unequivocal opposition to any seizure or maintenance of power by unconstitutional means,” the regional bloc said in a statement shared on social media.