Burkina Faso: UN chief condemns any attempt to seize power by the force of arms
The UN Secretary-General expressed on Saturday his deep concern regarding the unfolding developments in Burkina Faso, where according to media reports, a group of military officers overthrew the man who had seized power in a coup only nine months earlier.
Allegedly, Capt. Ibrahim Traore appeared on Friday on national television announcing that Lt. Col. Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba, who overthrew the country's democratically elected president in January, had been removed from power “after failing to end the terrorist violence” that has forced 2 million people to flee their homes.
In a statement published by his spokesperson, António Guterres strongly condemned “any attempt to seize power by the force of arms” and called on all actors to “refrain from violence and seek dialogue”.
The UN chief also expressed his full support for regional efforts toward a swift return to constitutional order in the country.
“Burkina Faso needs peace, stability and unity to fight terrorist groups and criminal networks operating in parts of the country”, he said.
Mr. Guterres reaffirmed the commitment of the United Nations to accompany the people of Burkina Faso in their efforts towards durable peace and stability.
According to media reports, gunfire was heard on Saturday in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou and many streets remain blocked among "unusual" military activity.
Burkina Faso continues to face a humanitarian crisis, with nearly one-fifth of the population in need of aid.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, as of June of this year, more than 1.5 million people have been displaced in Burkina Faso as a consequence of the increasing insecurity in the country. Nearly two-quarters of the displaced people are children.