Hundreds of people rallied in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou on Friday to show support for the ruling junta, one year after it seized power in a coup.
Supporters gathered at the Place de la Nation waving Burkinabe flags. Some held signs with pictures of the country’s young military leader, Captain Ibrahim Traore.
Traore took power on September 30 last year, ousting the leader of another coup who had seized power eight months earlier.
The rebellions were welcomed by many citizens fed up with worsening insecurity and disillusioned by their government, but condemned by Western countries who see their influence waning as democracy retreats in West Africa’s Sahel region.
Burkina Faso, like its neighbours Mali and Niger, is battling an Islamist insurgency that has killed thousands and displaced millions of people across the region. All three are now run by military officers who took power by force since 2020.
“We salute Captain Ibrahim Traore, the President of Burkina Faso, for his efforts to bring sovereignty back to the country. We are with him with all our heart day and night,” said Sadia Ouangraoua, who took part in the event.
The rally took place days after Burkina Faso’s junta said it had thwarted a coup attempt against it, and that investigations were under way to determine who was behind the plot.
Traore, 35, has gained popularity through his pan-Africanist, anti-French speeches. He has kicked out French troops and cracked down on French media as tensions escalated between Burkina Faso and its former coloniser.