Jail for Burkina Faso coup leaders


Two senior allies of deposed former Burkina Faso president Blaise Compaore were sentenced to 10 and 20 years in prison respectively for organising a 2015 coup attempt against a transitional government.

Protesters, angered by Compaore’s attempt to change the constitution to extend his 27-year rule, forced him to flee the West African nation in 2014.

Troops from the elite Presidential Security Regiment under command of General Gilbert Diendere, Compaore’s right-hand man, took transitional government members hostage less than a month before elections the following year.

The week-long power grab failed. Fourteen people were killed and more than 250 wounded attempting to resist the putsch.

A military tribunal in Ouagadougou found Diendere guilty of murder and threatening state security and sentenced him to 20 years in prison.

“This is a victory for the Burkinabe people, a victory for democracy and the rule of law,” said Prosper Farama, a lawyer for people injured in the coup attempt. “Only the people, by their legitimacy, confer power.”

Diendere’s lawyer said he would discuss a possible appeal with his client.

Compaore’s former foreign minister Djibril Bassole, accused of being the coup mastermind, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for treason.

Compaore is in exile in Ivory Coast.

Burkina Faso has been riven by jihadist and inter-ethnic violence over the last few years, some of it spilling over from Mali.