Don't miss




Macron and Kagame meet to repair strained ties over Rwandan genocide

Read more


Remembering Philip Roth

Read more


Film show: 'Solo: A Star Wars Story', 'Angel Face' and 'Peeping Tom'

Read more


Iraq: Children of Fallujah try to rebuild their lives

Read more


Philippines moves towards allowing divorce

Read more


'We are seeking a new deal', Pompeo advisor says on Iran

Read more


Hugh Coltman serves up a New Orleans-inspired musical gumbo

Read more


Music show: Opera singer Lawrence Brownlee, Snow Patrol & Natalie Prass

Read more


Are there other universes like ours?

Read more


Burkina seeks arrest of Ivory Coast parliament speaker over failed coup

© Sia Kambou / AFP | Ivory Coast's parliamentary speaker Guillaume Soro delivers a speech at the National Assembly in Abidjan on December 18, 2015

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2016-01-15

Burkina Faso is seeking an international arrest warrant for Guillaume Soro, the speaker of parliament in Ivory Coast and a former rebel leader, on charges related to a failed coup last year, military sources said Friday.

The move risks raising tensions between the two neighbouring West African nations, which share a history of close, if often fraught, economic and political ties.

The decision was made after authorities listened to phone recordings that linked Soro to the Burkina Faso coup, in which elite soldiers briefly took the interim president hostage, a military source said.

In the recorded conversation, Soro is heard talking to and Djibril Bassolé, a political ally of Burkina Faso’s deposed longtime ruler Blaise Compaoré.

The two men can allegedly be heard discussing ways to support the coup against Burkina Faso’s interim government led by Compaoré’s former spy chief General Gilbert Diendéré.

“I confirm that the warrant was issued at the beginning of the week,” said a source within the military tribunal, who declined to be named.

However, Soro said he had not been notified of the warrant.

“Only the government can give information on this. I am not aware of (the warrant),” he told Reuters.

Ivory Coast’s government spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast were once part of the same French colony. Around 4 million citizens of Burkina Faso live in its wealthier southern neighbour, many of them farmers who have helped make Ivory Coast the world’s leading cocoa producer.

Soro and his New Forces rebels controlled northern Ivory Coast for eight years following a 2002 civil war and were accused by then-Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo’s allies of receiving support from Compaoré. Burkina Faso denied the allegation.

The New Forces played a crucial role in Ivory Coast’s 2011 civil war, backing President Alassane Ouattara’s claim to leadership after Gbagbo refused to recognise his election defeat.

Burkina Faso, which has a long history of political turmoil, was plunged into fresh uncertainty in September, weeks before a planned October 11 presidential vote, when elite army leaders linked to former president Compaoré tried to seize power.

The attempted coup was foiled when angry citizens took to the streets. Its leaders were thrown behind bars and the presidential and general elections were re-scheduled for November 29.

Former prime minister Roch Marc Kaboré won that election, becoming only the third civilian president of nine in office since the country’s independence in 1960.

Compaoré, who himself came to power following a coup in 1987, was forced to flee the country in October 2014 following mass street protests against his bid to change the constitution to extend his 27-year rule.

He is currently living in exile in Ivory Coast.

Burkina Faso issued an international arrest warrant for Compaoré in December for his suspected role in the killing of his former comrade, ex-president Thomas Sankara, during the military coup that brought Compaoré to power.


Date created : 2016-01-15


    Burkina Faso issues international warrant for ousted leader Compaoré

    Read more


    Former PM Kaboré wins Burkina Faso presidential vote

    Read more


    Burkina Faso votes for new president after year of turmoil

    Read more