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UN urges ‘swift return’ to democracy in coup-hit Burkina Faso

The UN's human rights office has demanded the restoration of democracy in Burkina Faso after the army overthrew the government, suspended the constitution and closed the West African nation's borders.

The UN‘s human rights office has demanded the restoration of democracy in Burkina Faso after the army overthrew the government, suspended the constitution and closed the West African nation’s borders.

“We urge a swift return to constitutional order,” a spokesperson for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said on Tuesday in Geneva.

She also called for the army to release democratically-elected President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré and other officials who they detained.

The turmoil in the West African state erupted on Sunday with reports of soldiers at barracks in the capital Ouagadougou and two northern cities staging a mutiny.

The government initially denied that coup was under way and said that everything was under control.

But by Monday Kaboré had been taken to a military camp and Burkina Faso’s new junta leaders said his government had been overthrown.

Prior to the coup, demonstrators had been demanding Kaboré’s resignation. Resentment among the population, which accuses Kaboré and his government of inaction against the increasing threat of Islamist terrorism, has increased sharply in recent months.

The German government has condemned the military coup.

“The violent overthrow by parts of the armed forces represents a serious blow to Burkina Faso’s constitution and the democracy that the people won in 2015,” a German Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

“The military must return to their barracks and restore constitutional order, avoiding further escalation. This includes the immediate release of the democratically elected President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré.”

The spokesman also indicated that recent events could lead to consequences for the relationship between Berlin and Ouagadougou.

“We will evaluate and adjust our further cooperation with the country in the interests of the people,” he said.

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