Burkina Faso: From popular uprising to soldiers' revolt

Burkina Faso soldiers are seen deployed outside the National TV in Ouagadougou on January 24, 2022. Mutinous troops in Burkina Faso arrested and detained President Roch Marc Christian Kabore and his ministers on Monday, demanding more resources for the battle against Islamist insurgents, security sources told AFP.

What you need to know:

  • Kabore was re-elected on November 22, 2020, but insecurity meant hundreds of thousands of people are unable to vote.

With Burkina Faso's President Roch Marc Christian Kabore being held by mutinous troops, we look at the troubled West African country plagued by unrest and jihadist violence.

2014: Fall of Compaore 

Blaise Compaore takes power in a 1987 coup and cements his position four years later with the first of four election victories. But his 2010 win is contested, as is his attempt to amend the constitution to extend his rule. After being forced from power by street protests in 2014, he takes refuge in Ivory Coast and on November 29, 2015, former prime minister Kabore is elected in his place.

2015: Jihadist attacks 

From 2015, the north of the country, the capital Ouagadougou and the east begin to suffer regular kidnappings and attacks by jihadist groups affiliated to the Al-Qaeda or Islamic State groups.

On January 15, 2016, an attack on the Splendid hotel and a restaurant in Ouagadougou leave 30 dead, most of them Westerners, shocking the country. 

In November 2017, the French-backed G5 anti-jihadist force starts joint cross-border operations in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.

2018: Attacks intensify 

On March 2, 2018, simultaneous attacks target French forces and the former colonial power's embassy, leaving eight soldiers dead and 85 people injured.

The end of that year sees a state of emergency declared in several provinces.

From 2019, the attacks become almost daily, prompting the sacking of the head of the armed forces and formation of a new government.

On December 24, 42 people die in an attack by 200 jihadists on a military base in Arbinda, near the border with Mali.

2020: Kabore re-elected 

Kabore is re-elected on November 22, 2020, but insecurity means hundreds of thousands of people are unable to vote.

The opposition accuse the president of election fraud and refuse to recognise the result. 

2021: Growing unrest

Between 132 and 160 people are killed in a June 2021 raid on the northeastern village of Solhan in the worst attack in six years.

The killings spark demonstrations against insecurity and the ministers of defence and security are both fired.

On August 18, an attack in the north leaves 65 civilians and 15 police dead. 

In October the president replaces the military chief of staff. A trial also begins into the killing 34 years earlier of charismatic former president Thomas Sankara, the "African Che Guevara". Compaore, the main accused, is not present.

On November 14, at least 57 people, 53 of them gendarmes, are massacred in an assault on a police station at Inata in the north, sparking further protests.

Burkinabe and Niger military say they eliminated around 100 "terrorists" during an operation on their common border between November 25 and December 9.

New government 

December 8, the prime minister resigns and hands the reins to Lassina Zerbo, who urges national unity.

On December 23, 41 people are killed in yet another jihadist attack in the north.

The past month sees n a further spate of attacks and rumblings of discontent in the ranks of the armed forces echoing those in the wider population.

2022: Military revolt 

On Saturday police in Ouagadougou clash with demonstrators at a banned protest over the government's handling of the jihadist threat.

The following day soldiers at several army barracks stage a revolt but the government denies a coup is underway.

On Monday Kabore is arrested by mutinous soldiers after gunshots are heard near his private residence.