Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

Another U.S.-Trained Soldier Stages a Coup in West Africa

By Nick Turse, The Intercept

The leader of a coup in Burkina Faso is the latest in a line of U.S.-trained soldiers who overturned civilian leaders.

Earlier this week, the military seized power in Burkina Faso, ousting the country’s democratically elected president, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré.

The coup was announced on state television Monday by a young officer who said the military had suspended the constitution and dissolved the government. Beside him sat a camouflage-clad man whom he introduced as Burkina Faso’s new leader: Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, the commander of one of the country’s three military regions.

Damiba is a highly trained soldier, thanks in no small part to the U.S. military, which has a long record of training soldiers in Africa who go on to stage coups. Damiba, it turns out, participated in at least a half-dozen U.S. training exercises, according to U.S. Africa Command, or AFRICOM.

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