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Government officials discuss soldiers demands in Burkina Faso

In Burkina Faso, soldiers staged a revolt in several army bases to demand the departure of army chiefs and better means to fight extremists.

The army uprising is the latest threat to president Roch Marc Christian Kaboré in the face of jihadist violence that struck the country in 2015.

On the streets, many reclaim the need for change at the top.

“We have seen enough, we don’t want the crying, we don’t want the orphans. We have seen enough, the president must leave. He has to leave, we support the soldiers. They must resist” said Abdoulaye Kanazoé, a supporter of the army.

Others who opted to stay anonymous added:

“We have heard that the army is going to take over and we support the army. Tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and even before we supported the army”;

“So, we, the population, really went out to support this struggle, may they go further, because what we really want is a truly united nation, because Burkina Faso has been scattered, there are no more villages, there are too many displaced people, so whoever can’t do it, should just leave. That’s all”, said another activist.

The government reacted by acknowledging gunfire in army barracks but denied a “takeover by the armed forces”.

According to government sources discussions have started between representatives of the armed forces and the minister of Defence, General Barthélémy Simporé.

Earlier in the day, supporters of the soldiers set fire to the headquarters of the ruling party before being dispersed by the police.

On Saturday, incidents broke out in Ouagadougou and other cities between police and demonstrators who defied a ban on gathering to protest against insecurity in the country.

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