Burkina Faso arrests 11 failed coup soldiers after raid

Army says eleven former members of elite Burkinabe presidential guard arrested after a raid near capital

Photo by: AFP (Archive)
Photo by: AFP (Archive)

A soldier looks at pickups mounted with rocket launchers from a regiment of the elite presidential guard (RSP) at the Guillaume Ouedraogo military camp in Ouagadougou on September 26, 2015.

Eleven former members of the elite Burkinabe presidential guard, which played a role in the failed coup last year, were arrested following a raid on an arms depot, near the capital on Friday.

Mahamadi Bonkoungou, a senior military official said that all 11 people detained were ex-members of the Presidential Security Regiment (RSP).

Bonkoungou also pressed for a “collaboration” with the public to arrest 15 other soldiers linked to the raid, which the police were still searching for, adding that security measures were stepped up.

According to the Bonkoungou’s comments, the attack on the arms depot was staged by "a dozen ex-RSP members" at around 4am local time on Friday and one security guard was injured in the attack.

The perpetrators stole some guns, including some AK-47s and anti-tank rocket grenade launchers from the arms depot.

Furthermore, the army said it would "encourage the population to participate in their arrests."

Burkina Faso’s secret service organisation, the Presidential Security Regiment (RSP) unit, was responsible for the security of the top officials carried out two coups in 2014 and 2015 in the West African country.

President Michel Kafando and his government were taken hostage during the coup staged by the organisation in September 2015. Shortly after the army managed to take control with the help of the regional bloc Ecowas. Kafando’s government was later restored to power.

Kafando was elected as president when former President Blaise Compaore resigned, amid uprising in October 2014.

According to the interim government, 10 people were killed and more than 113 people were injured during the coup staged by General Diendere in September.

AFP, TRTWorld and agencies