Coup in Burkina Faso – September 2022

Burkina Faso and informal governance

A military coup took place in in Burkina Faso in September 2022 and Captain Ibrahim Traore seems to be in charge on the country at this time. The coup displaced Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba who came to power in a military coup in January 2022. The new leader, in his mid-30s, joined the Burkina Faso army in 2009. He has fought in counterinsurgency campaigns in the north of the country and was promoted to Captain in 2020. He initially supported Damiba in early 2022; but like many supporters, grew discontented with Damiba’s policies. Burkina Faso is a former French colony in West Africa. It is reported that the September coup was supported by the Cobras ‘special forces’ unit.

Burkina Faso has a population of about 22 million people and is roughly the size of the state of Colorado (USA). The country is faced with violence by insurgents affiliated with Al Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS). The impoverished country is experiencing humanitarian situations.


Burkina Faso: Conflict and Military Rule, Congressional Research Office (CRS), 2022.

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