Burkina Faso junta releases ex-ruling party leader

Police have released the leader of the former ruling party in Burkina Faso who was briefly arrested for criticising the conditions the ousted president was being held under, his People’s Movement for Progress (MPP) said Monday.

Alassane Bala Sakande was arrested at his home early Sunday morning, lawyers said.

He was allowed to return home after spending the day at a police station in the capital where he was accused of staging a press conference last week “full of too much political activism”, the party said in a statement.

“If there are restrictions on the movement and activities of political parties it should be brought to everyone’s attention,” the party statement said.

Sakande, who was president of the National Assembly before the coup, had called for the immediate release of ex-president, Roch Marc Christian Kabore, claiming the conditions of his house arrest had been tightened to the extent that he was effectively being detained.

Prior to his removal in January, Kabore had faced a wave of anger over a jihadist insurgency that had ravaged the impoverished West African country.

Under junta leader, Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, a transitional assembly took office in Ouagadougou last Tuesday.

The United Nations, African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have all called for Kabore to be set free. -AFP

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