Burkina issues arrest warrant for speaker of Ivory Coast parliament


Burkina Faso has issued an international arrest warrant for Guillaume Soro, the speaker of parliament in Ivory Coast, on charges related to a failed coup last year, military sources said on Friday.

The warrant risks raising tension between the West African neighbours.

Soro and the rebellion he led played a crucial roll in Ivory Coast’s 2011 civil war, backing President Alassane Ouattara’s claim to leadership after his predecessor Laurent Gbagbo refused to recognise his election defeat.

Gbagbo’s allies accused Burkina’s former leader Blaise Compaore of backing Soro’s rebels, a charge Ouagadougou denied.

Authorities in Ivory Coast did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Burkina Faso authorities made the decision after listening to phone recordings that linked Soro to a coup in which elite soldiers seized power for a week in September and briefly took the interim president hostage, a military source said.
“I confirm that the warrant was issued at the beginning of the week,” said a source within the military tribunal, who declined to be named.

Burkina Faso’s transitional government has charged a general over the September coup and also issued an international arrest warrant for Compaore, who was driven from power in Oct. 2014.