L'Observateur, Sept. 18, 2015

The situation in Burkina Faso was still tense Friday morning, after the rebel military installed General Gilbert Diendéré as the country's new president Thursday, just three weeks before national elections were set to take place. "So It's Him!" reads the front-page headline of the Burkinabe daily L'Observateur.

Ousted interim President Michel Kafando, who had been held hostage by presidential security forces since Wednesday, was reportedly released. But Prime Minister Isaac Zida, also detained Wednesday, was allegedly still under house arrest.

Several protests took place Friday in the capital Ouagadougou and across the country. Shots were fired and several political parties called on the people for civil disobedience, Jeune Afrique reports. On Thursday, similar protests left at least six people dead and more than 60 injured.

In an editorial, L'Observateur strongly criticized the coup, calling it and its consequences a "tremendous waste," adding, "Whatever the reason, the impact of this coup against the transition, only a few weeks away from its end, is disastrous." The events would not only affect democracy in the country, but also "public finances" and the "country's image."

It also described the self-proclaimed president as "anything but new." For a long time, Diendéré was the chief advisor of Blaise Compaoré, the president who was ousted in October 2014. "Is this the confirmation of a long-hidden ambition that was awaiting the right moment to materialize, or rather circumstances that forced the hand of 'the man who dislikes power,' of which he was the guardian for a long time?" the editorial asks.


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