A Coup Staged in West Africa


Nolan Burke

Insurgents staged a coup in Burkina Faso on Jan 23, and the leader of the coup, Paul-Henri Damiba, was declared head of state. Coups can occur when leaders fail to meet their population’s basic security expectations, and they are becoming more frequent in West Africa. Since 1946, West Africa has had 100 coups.

On Jan. 23, armed insurgents opened gunfire near the presidential residence in the capital of Ouagadougou. The incident occurred until Jan. 24. The Ministry of Education in Burkina Faso declared that schools would be closed for two days, and citizens ought to abide by a curfew. The former president Roch Marc Christian Kaboré was detained before the coup leader took over. Additionally, the presidents and ministers of the government were detained and arrested.

The United States and the European Union are calling for the former president to be released. The president’s own party labeled the coup as a failed attempt at assassination.

The former president was initially elected to bring unity to the country. However, it is now uncertain when he will be released. He is the third West African president to be detained since May 2021.