Ousted Burkina Faso military ruler Damiba in Togo

Burkina Faso’s ousted military ruler has gone to neighbouring Togo after rival officers seized power in a coup on Friday, Togo’s government has said.

Togo had taken in Lt Col Paul-Henri Damiba for the sake of regional peace, Akodah Ayewouadan added.

New military ruler, Capt. Ibrahim Traoré, has urged cabinet ministers to “move faster” to tackle “urgent” problems.

An Islamist insurgency in Burkina Faso has worsened since Lt Col Damiba seized power in January.

On Sunday, religious and community leaders said he had formally resigned after Capt. Traoré agreed to meet his conditions.

In a recording widely shared on social media, Lt-Col Damiba said he wished Burkina Faso’s new leader every success. It is not known if he was alone when it was made.

The African Union has demanded the return of constitutional order by July 2023 at the latest, agreeing with the regional group, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

But ECOWAS has since praised “the various parties in Burkina Faso for agreeing to a peaceful settlement of their differences” as days of power struggles came to an end without bloodshed.Lt Col Damiba was “unconstitutional”.

Capt. Traoré said Burkina Faso was facing an emergency in every sector, “from security to defence, to health, to social action, to infrastructure”.It was time for government to “abandon the unnecessary red tape”, he added.

Capt.Traoré wants fast solutions to big problems which some fear signals a turn towards Russia.Russia and France are engaged in a battle for influence in several former French colonies in West and Central Africa.

At the weekend, there were attacks on French institutions after it was reported that Lt Col Damiba was sheltering at a French military base in the capital, Ouagadougou.

France’s foreign ministry said they were the work of “hostile demonstrators” who had been “manipulated by a disinformation campaign against us”.

Some in Ouagadougou chanted pro-Russian slogans and waved Russian flags as they greeted the new junta leader and his convoy on Sunday. -BBC

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