Rallies held in Burkina Faso to support new leader Ibrahim Traore
Protesters were angered over rumors that generals were in consultation to appoint one of them in place of the new leader Ibrahim Traore.
Protesters rallied in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso on Thursday in support of the country's new leader, Ibrahim Traore.
Traore, only 34, was declared president on Wednesday following a two-day standoff that saw Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba getting ousted from power.
This marks the country's second military coup in eight months, with Damiba only assuming power in January after outsing former President Rock Kabore via a coup of his own in light of growing frustration over the state of the country's security.
Prior to Damiba's ousting, there were already rumors spreading among some army generals about Traore potentially replacing him.
Rumors also circulated about internal divisions within the army, wherein the junior officers represented by Traore and the high-ranking officers who moved in the same circles as Damiba.
Several hundred people were gathered in front of the national radio and television center in the city.
"We have learned that the generals are in consultation to appoint one of them in place of Captain Traore. It will not do! Not today, not tomorrow," said one of the protesters, Amadou Congo.
It took an hour for the crowd to be contained until the government announced that it denied rumors of a split.
"Information which has been circulating since this morning on social networks about generals meeting... is unfounded" according to a statement released by the communication ministry.
Since last Friday's coup, calm has relatively been reestablished in Ouagadougou.
Traore, although young, has an extensive background as an officer from Burkina Faso's Georges Namonao Military School, generally considered a lower-class institution relative to the Kadiogo Military Academy of which Damiba is an alumnus.
At just 34, Captain Ibrahim Traore, is appointed the new President of Burkina Faso, making him, Africa’s youngest head of state. pic.twitter.com/iYb2xFF6f0— Atulinda Allan🇺🇬 (@Atulinda_Allan) October 6, 2022
Among the crowd, some of the protesters were waving Burkina and Russian flags as some believed Traore may follow the path of other French-speaking countries in Africa, and reinforce ties with Russia at the expense of total liberation from France.
Relations towards France have been deteriorating in light of its failure to contain terrorist groups and activities across the country. France has previously occupied the country and ruled it with an iron fist while still intervening in its internal affairs to this day, ruining the lives of many.
In January 2022, the national emergency aid agency says that 1.5 million people, nearly two-thirds of them children, were internally displaced as of November 30, attributed to the terrorist violence ravaging the country.
A report published by the UN revealed that nearly 12,000 people were displaced within two weeks in December.
On October 2nd, supporters of Traore gathered outside the French embassy one day after the leader accused the man he deposed of hiding in a French base, plotting a "counteroffensive."
French soldiers watched from the roof as protesters set fire to the barriers and threw rocks at the embassy.