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Sense of relief reigns in Burkina Faso after coup

Lalla Sy BBC News, Ouagadougou

Flying from Niamey to Ouagadougou, one can only be impressed at the view of the immense desert lands that are common to Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali – the Sahel.

Upon arrival at the Ouagadougou airport, there is not the tight security I had expected, no particular effort in checking covid tests or searching luggage.

The policeman stamping my passport grinds his jaw as he’s reading the purpose of my visit. “What are you going to report about?” he asks.

“About what’s happened lately,” I answer. “There was a coup on Monday, right? Are you happy about what the military did?”

The policeman nods without saying a word.

No-one I’ve come across is too concerned by the coup, what it could mean for the Burkinabè democracy or the condemnation of the international community.

Instead, they are relieved that this coup has taken place. Something had to be done, many people say, and now people are are waiting to hear what the junta will do next.

That’s because the return to constitutional order and a real policy to counter the advance of armed jihadist groups remains a priority for many.

The Burkinabè people have moved on, what has changed in Ouagadougou is perhaps the feeling of haste; I know the Burkinabès to be very calm people but tonight again they will go home as quickly as possible, before the junta’s newly imposed nightly 21:00 to 05:00 curfew.

The sense of normalcy will be accentuated next week, when roads will be crowded again with school and university activities starting again.

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