Twelve people, most of them soldiers, have been arrested in Burkina Faso since last week allegedly for planning with a foreign country to overthrow the government of President Blaise Campaore, State Prosecutor Abdoulaye Barry told reporters on Tuesday.
Barry said those arrested were "planning to carry out subversive activities that could threaten State security". He added that "serious evidence" existed of their acts, but declined to give further details.
The suspects, Barry said, were in custody at a military facility and the investigations were going on.
A captain, Wally Luther Diapagri who works at the Trade Ministry, was reportedly the mastermind of the coup plan that started as early as in 2000. He reportedly recruited other soldiers and civilians including another captain, army sergeants, warrant chiefs and corporals.
A church pastor, Pascal Israel Pare, was among the suspected plotters. The pastor, a trained teacher, reportedly told the officers that they had been exploited by the regime and that it was time to cleanse the country, the state prosecutor said.
A source in the Burkina capital, Ouagadougou told IRIN that more than US $178,731 had been given to the executors by an "African country". He said their activities had been followed by the secret services.
Most of the arrested soldiers belonged to President Compaore's security guard before being deployed to other units. One of them, Captain Bauoulou Boulibié, served at the military detachment of Bobo Dioulasso.
According to Barry, the case will be prosecuted by a military court and more arrests were expected.
Burkina Faso, a landlocked country, that got its independence in 1960 from France has experienced five coups since then. The latest was the bloodiest one that brought Captain Blaise Compaore to power on 15 October 1987. Captain Thomas Sankara, then president, was killed in that coup.
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions
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