What is behind the coup in Burkina Faso?

The BBC’s Lamine Konkobo looks at the issues behind the coup in Burkina Faso, where members of the presidential guard have overthrown the interim government.

A new president was due to be elected next month to replace long-serving ruler Blaise Compaore, who was ousted in a popular uprising last year.

Why has there been a coup?

Members of the presidential guard (RSP), set up by President Compaore, say they were unhappy with the new electoral law banning candidates linked to last year’s bid to extend the president’s time in office. It was that attempt which triggered his overthrow in October 2014.

But what is really bothering the RSP is its future. Soldiers were worried that the election of a new president would spell the end of the unit.

What is the presidential guard?

The presidential guard is an elite unit of around 1,300 soldiers loyal to Mr Compaore.

He set it up to ensure his own protection in the wake of the 1987 killing of his predecessor, and close ally, Thomas Sankara during a coup which led to Mr Compaore taking over.

It is a well-trained and well-equipped group of soldiers who have often acted independently from the country’s army, and this coup is not necessarily supported by the wider military.

Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-34277045

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