Thu. May 30th, 2024

UN Secretary General condemns Burkina Faso coup, Says Celebration on the Streets may Be Orchestrated

Paschal Okeke

The United Nations on Tuesday deplored the military takeover in Burkina Faso and called for the immediate release of President Roch Marc Christian Kabore and other top officials.

The UN human rights office said it is important to preserve democratic space in the West African nation and ensure that the rule of law is respected.

“We call on the military to immediately release President Roch Marc Christian Kabore and other high-level officials who have been detained. We urge a swift return to constitutional order,” spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told reporters in Geneva.

Michelle Bachelet, the UN high commissioner for human rights, visited the country in November 2021, when she stressed the importance of preserving the democratic and human rights gains made there.

“The high commissioner deeply deplores the military takeover of power in Burkina Faso,” said Shamdasani.

Soldiers in Burkina Faso on Monday night announced on state television that they had seized power following a mutiny over the civilian president’s failure to contain an Islamist insurgency.

A junior officer announced the suspension of the constitution, the dissolution of the government and parliament, and the closure of the country’s borders.

Shamdasani said that during Bachelet’s visit in November, she observed mounting frustration and impatience with the deteriorating security situation.

“In the face of the security threats and tremendous humanitarian challenges facing the country, it is more important than ever to ensure that the rule of law, constitutional order, and the country’s obligations under international human rights law are fully respected,” the spokeswoman said.

“It is crucial for democratic space to be effectively protected, to ensure people are able to air their grievances and aspirations, and to participate in meaningful dialogue to work towards addressing the many crises in the country.”

Bachelet’s office pledged to continue monitoring the human rights situation in Burkina Faso.

UN Secretary General condemns Burkina Faso coup

The United Nations Secretary-General,Antonio Guterres has condemned the coup d’etat in Burkina Faso, insisting that the celebration on the streets in the country could have been orchestrated to show that it was the wishes of the people.

Gutteres, in his reaction to the military take-over, said: “I am deeply concerned with the recent coup d’état in Burkina Faso. The role of the military must be to defend their countries and their peoples, not to attack their governments and to fight for power.

“We have, unfortunately in the region, terrorist groups, we have threats to international peace and security. My appeal is for the armies of these countries to assume their professional role of armies, to protect their countries and re-establish democratic institutions.”

On the support given to the coup by citizens who trooped to the streets to celebrate the take-over, the UN Secretary General said: “There are always celebrations for these kinds of situations. It’s easy to orchestrate them, but the values of democracy do not depend on the public opinion at one moment or another. Democratic societies are a value that must be preserved. Military coups are unacceptable in the 21st century.”

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