UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday strongly condemned the takeover of government by Burkina Faso soldiers, telling the coup plotters to lay down their weapons.

His call followed Sunday’s coup in the landlocked West African nation by sections of her armed forces.

Mr Guterres, in a statement issued by his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric, called on the coup leaders to lay down their weapons.

The secretary-general said he was following developments in the country with deep concern.

He also called on the coup leaders to protect the physical integrity of President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré and the institutions of Burkina Faso.

Mr Guterres said he was particularly worried about the whereabouts and safety of the president, who had not been seen since the crisis began early Sunday.

The UN chief expressed concern over the worsening security situation in the country’s capital, Ouagadougou.

Reports said the military announced on Monday it had seized power and overthrown the president.

The announcement was made on state television by an army officer who cited the deteriorating security situation in the country for the military takeover.

According to news reports, civilians and military elements have voiced growing criticism for months over the ģovernment’s inability to tackle the growing Islamist insurgency that has destabilised much of the country.

Mr Guterres reiterated the UN’s full commitment to preserving constitutional order in Burkina Faso.

The secretary-general reaffirmed the organisation’s support to the people to find solutions to the multifaceted challenges facing the country.

In May 2021, a military coup was staged in Mali, and a wave of other coup attempts and takeovers have occurred across West Africa and the Sahel, including in Chad, Sudan and Guinea.

Earlier in the month, the UN special representative for West Africa and the Sahel told the Security Council the resurgence “is often the consequence of political practices that are completely out of step with the aspirations of the populations.”



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