Harare (New Ziana) –United Nations secretary general Antonio Gueterez is following developments in Burkina Faso with deep concern, an official has said.
The military in Burkina Faso announced on national television Sunday that it had taken power, pledging a “return to constitutional order” within “a reasonable time.
A captain read a communiqué from Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, who also announced the closure of borders, the dissolution of the government and the National Assembly, and the suspension of the Constitution.
In a statement, Guterez’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said the UN chief was particularly worried about the whereabouts and safety of President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, as well as the worsening security situation, following the coup on Sunday.
“The Secretary-General strongly condemns any attempt to take over a government by the force of arms. He calls on the coup leaders to lay down their arms and to ensure the protection of the physical integrity of the President and of the institutions of Burkina Faso,” said Dujarric.
“The Secretary-General calls on all actors to exercise restraint and opt for dialogue. The United Nations reiterates its full commitment to the preservation of the constitutional order and reaffirms its support to the people of Burkina Faso in their efforts to find solutions to the multifaceted challenges facing the country.”
Meanwhile, the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the European Union and the United States have also condemned the “coup attempt” in Burkina Faso.
The AU called on the national army and security forces “to ensure the physical integrity of the president” Roch Marc Christian Kaboré and his government.
In a statement, AU Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat called on the national army and security forces of the country “to strictly adhere to their republican vocation, namely the defense of the internal and external security of the country.”
The fate of President Kaboré remained unclear Monday with some reports indicating he was being held by the mutinous soldiers while the government said he had been “exfiltrated” from his residence on Sunday “before the arrival of armed elements who fired on the vehicles in his convoy.
In power since 2015, President Kaboré, re-elected in 2020 on the promise to make the fight against jihadism his priority, has increasingly been challenged by a population fed up with jihadist violence and his alleged inability to cope.