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Burkina Faso’s coup: French embassy denies involvement amidst report of counter coup by ousted Damiba

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The French embassy in Ouagadougou has denied playing any role in the current tensioned Burkina Faso, following a coup that ousted Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba on Friday.

The embassy issued the statement in response to reports circulating on social media about its involvement in the current unrest in the West African country.

France asked its citizens in the capital city, Ouagadougou, to stay home, while the European Union expressed “concern” at the unfolding events.

Lieutenant-Colonel Damiba, was on Friday, ousted in a coup led by one of his trusted allies, Captain Ibrahim Traore, eight months after he had overthrown the democratically elected President Roch Kabore in January.

Meanwhile, there have been reports of unrest in the aftermath of the coup. Gunfire rang out across Burkina Faso’s capital on Saturday and fire broke out at the French embassy as self-declared leader Ibrahim Traore accused President Paul-Henri Damiba of staging a counter-offensive after his apparent ouster a day earlier.

“They led a counter-offensive this morning. Some of the special forces were sent… and also the air base has been manipulated,” Traore told radio station Omega on Saturday.

France’s relationship with Africa has suffered lately with a series of anti-demonstrations across the continent.

Defence ties were broken between it and Mali earlier in the year while In Gabon, the government was forced to stop a planned protest in July. The protest stretched beyond Gabon and took to France.

In March, protesters disrupted an auction right before a 19th-century carved mask was sold for €4.2 million, despite accusations that it was “stolen goods” in Montpellier in the South of France.

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Exiled Ivory Coast politician, Charles Blé Goudé, returns home to cheering crowd. Old wounds opened?

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Exiled Ivorian politician, Charles Blé Goudé who was the right-hand man of former Ivorian president, Laurent Gbagbo, is back home.

The Street General as he is fondly called is said to be allegedly involved in the violence that followed the 2011 presidential elections, returned home on Saturday after more than eight years abroad.

Thousands of supporters turned up to receive him at the airport after his arrival on a flight from Ghana’s capital, Accra, that was preceded by a heavy police presence.

Charles Blé Goudé while addressing the crowd said “in reality when I was told to come, it was frank, it was sincere. That is why I thank you here in Yopougon, the Ivorian authorities for having facilitated (my return, ed.) among you. If I see you today it is thanks to them.”

He thanked the Ivorian authorities for facilitating his return and said his “duty” was to “support the peace process”.

“I have arrived, I will gather all the information. In this same place, we will hold a political rally where I will discuss all the issues. And as the press is here, I ask them to come in a few weeks to a big press conference where we will discuss all the issues, I mean all the issues”, promised Blé Goudé.

The politician was arrested in Ghana in 2013 following the post-electoral crisis that engulfed the west African country in 2010. But the homecoming seems to be approved by the incumbent president, Alassane Ouattara, who in July pardoned his predecessor Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé’s principal in the push for national reconciliation.

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Congo DR electoral body, CENI, announces date of presidential election

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The electoral authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Commission Electorale Nationale Independente (CENI) have announced dates for the next presidential election.

CENI on Saturday said the election will take place on December 20th next year.

The commission outlined several challenges, including the logistics of transporting ballot materials thousands of miles, health concerns about Ebola and COVID-19, and unrest that has forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes.

The incumbent president, Felix Tshisekedi, who already expressed his intention to run again. He might be running against Martin Fayulu, who continues to claim that he won the 2018 election and was denied victory.

Terrorist activities, largely by a rebel group, M23 have drawn reactions from stakeholders in the East Africa region and global observers. The M23 is a rebel military group based in eastern areas of the DRC, mainly operating in the province of North Kivu.

According to the electoral authorities, insecurity remains the main challenge for the next elections.

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