Two months after the coup in Burkina Faso, the still uncertain fate of former President Kaboré

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A graffiti calling for the release of former Burkinabé president Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, in Ouagadougou.

“Where is Kabore? Why don’t we let him go? » More than two months after the January 24 coup, many Burkinabés are wondering about the fate of their former president, who is still being held by the putschists in a house arrest in the capital. In Ouagadougou, mysterious graffiti painted green, “Free Roch”, have appeared in recent days on some walls and traffic signs.

On March 25, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) again expressed its “deep concern” and demanded the “unconditional and immediate release” by Roch Marc Christian Kaboré. A first version of the press release set Thursday, March 31 as the deadline for this release to take place, under penalty of sanctions, before being erased in the final version.

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For its part, the ruling junta, which has never officially mentioned the situation of the former president, refuses to communicate on the reasons for this prolonged detention which would have hardened a month ago, according to the entourage of Mr. Kabore. The latter is held in a villa placed under high security and whose exact address is kept secret, in Ouaga 2000, a wealthy district of the capital. He no longer has access to his phone and can only see some of his relatives – his children, his doctor and his aide-de-camp – for only one hour a day. Only his wife can visit him several times a day to bring him his meals.

His lawyers point to a detention “arbitrary and illegal”. On Thursday, the government spokesman said that “consultations” been carried out for three weeks to determine the place of his transfer in “a family residence of his choice”, with a “adequate security”.

“He worries about his country”

After a month in a first villa, the ex-president had already been offered by the military to be placed under house arrest with his family. “He refused and was moved to this place, near the home of Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba [le chef de la junte] », assures a source close to the ousted president, who prefers to remain anonymous for security reasons. The house where he is now housed has turned into a fortress, barricaded by checkpoints and pick-ups of hooded soldiers. Its rare visitors are searched and forbidden to enter with their phones.

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