General Yacouba Isaac Zida, a former Prime Minister in Burkina Faso has been accused of a plot to assassinate some of the country’s top military leaders and politicians.Appearing at the Ouagadougou military tribunal last Saturday, Sergeant Aly Sanou, the suspected mastermind of an attack on the Yimdi powder magazine left former Prime Minister Zida confounded by the allegation.
According to Sergeant Sanou, it all started when Mr. Zida suggested the elimination of veteran soldiers, hinting at Generals Gilbert Diendere and Djibril Bassole (Editor’s note) to be put down.
Sanou claimed Zida had reasoned that the plot once successful would have been applauded by the population since both have been in power for at least 27 years.
He claimed, the military hierarchy at the time was informed of the scheme.
“A few meetings would be held on the matter” he explained.
“Unfortunately, no provision was made to protect our lives” he said adding that the purported inaction had prompted his decision to desert the army after the elite republican guard brigade was disbanded in late September 2015.
Staff Sergeant Sanou Aly said he sneaked into exile in Cote d’Ivoire through Ghana, spending a few months in the Ivorian capital, Abidjan.
He claimed that while in exile, he was aware of reports about the orchestration of a coup and an alleged plot by General Zida to assassinate Generals Gilbert Diendere, Djibrill Bassole and Salif Diallo.
Consequently he would urge some of his comrades to return home and “save Burkina Faso by foiling the coup plot”.
In a trial that started last Tuesday, Sergeant Aly Sanou is being prosecuted by the tribunal for “military conspiracy, desertion in peacetime, illegal possession of weapons and ammunition, violence, assault, and aggravated theft “.
On the fifth day of the trial on Saturday, 21 accused including a civilian were paraded in front of the tribunal most of them denying the charges preferred against them.
The Yimdi case is the second trial by the military court in Ouagadougou, in relation to an attempt to destabilize Burkina Faso or some of its institutions with the involvement of former soldiers of the elite republican guards.
This trial is scheduled to continue on Monday with the hearing of witnesses and the defense.