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Burkina: Lieutenant Colonel Zoungrana arrested again

Two gendarmerie pickup vehicles with six gendarmes on board went to the home of Lieutenant Colonel Emmanuel Zoungrana in Pabre, just north of Ouagadougou, very early Tuesday morning as his supporters initially resisted his arrest.Since December 15, 2022, he has been provisionally released after more than ten months in detention for acts “likely to be qualified as conspiracy, embezzlement of public property, forgery and use of forgeries, illicit enrichment and money laundering.”

“I saw the gendarmes who arrived and I asked them what was going on. They told me that they needed me at the Research Brigade. I told them to move to the living room and I went to my suite to advise my lawyer and since then there have been negotiations,” the senior officer of the Burkinabe army explained.

The presence of the police alerted Lieutenant Colonel Zoungrana’s admirers. 

They mobilized to resist the possible new arrest of their man.

“This is a political attack. They are angry with him because he is a good soldier,” Alain Sawadogo, one of his supporters complained.

In an amateur video lasting two minutes and 50 seconds, and authenticated by his lawyer Paul Kéré, the accused once again claimed his innocence and said he was the victim of a plot hatched by politicians. 

The lieutenant-colonel alleged that he had escaped two poisoning attempts when he was detained at the Army Detention Centre in Ouagadougou. 

He denounced “an attempt of physical elimination” against his person.

“It is a failed assassination attempt against and it is being transformed into a dilatory accusation against me,” the Burkinabe army officer insisted.

At the end of the brief exchanges, Emmanuel Zoungrana alighted from his vehicle, escorted by the gendarmes. 

“I don’t know where they went exactly, but it would probably be to the gendarmerie. For the moment, I don’t know why the gendarmes want to arrest my client,” said his lawyer, Paul Kere.

The lieutenant-colonel was arrested on January 10, 2022, for attempting a coup. 

He was subsequently accused of destabilizing institutions and money laundering under the regime of Roch Marc Christian Kabore, who was overthrown a few days later by the military led by Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba.

Damiba was in turn deposed on September 30 by Captain Ibrahim Traore. 

After several requests for provisional release from his lawyer, Zoungrana was released on December 15.

Published on 03.01.2023

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