FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show The Leader Of The Burkina Faso Military Coup?

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

An image shared on Twitter purportedly shows the leader of Burkina Faso’s military coup.

Verdict: False

The man pictured is a spokesperson for the group that organized the coup, not the group’s leader. The leader of the coup is Lt. Col. Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba, according to BBC News and Al Jazeera.

Fact Check:

A group identified as the Patriotic Movement for Safeguarding and Restoration (MPSR) removed sitting Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kabore from power Jan. 24, the Associated Press reported. The coup was launched in response to Kabore’s alleged mishandling of increasing jihadist violence in the country, the outlet reported.

An image shared on Twitter purportedly shows the leader of the coup, a young military officer wearing a blue beret. “Burkina Faso Coup Leader,” reads the tweet, in part. (RELATED: Does This Image Show Dogs Killed By The Myanmar Military?)

The man pictured, however, is not the leader of the group. The image stems from a Jan. 24 broadcast on the country’s state TV station in which members of the MPSR announced the military takeover, according to France 24. The outlet identifies the man in the blue beret as Captain Sidsoré Kader Ouedraogo, a “spokesman for the junta.” Ouedraogo was also referred to as a spokesman by Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and teleSUR.

The coup’s true leader is Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Damiba, according to BBC News and Al Jazeera. He was beside Ouedraogo, wearing a red beret, as the captain read the Jan. 24 announcement, according to Al Jazeera. Both Al Jazeera and France 24 noted the statement read by Ouedraogo was signed in Damiba’s name. Damiba was later identified as the president of the country’s new transitional government, Al Jazeera reported.

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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