Burkina Faso coup plotters on trial

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Djibril Basole (L), General Gilbert Diendere and their co-defendants are charged with treason, undermining state security and murder.

The trial of the alleged masterminds behind 2015’s attempted coup in Burkina Faso is opening in the capital Ouagadougou.

More than 80 people are due to appear in court in a trial described as a test for the country’s judiciary.

Hundreds of members of the security forces have deployed around the court for the opening of the trial.

No less than 84 defendants will appear in court, including two prominent generals, Gilbert Diendere and Djibril Bassole, close allies of former president Blaise Compaore.

Under the former regime, Gen Diendere was the head of the presidential guard.

Along with soldiers of this elite unit, he is accused of attempting to overthrow the transitional government of Burkina Faso, just one year after the departure of long time ruler Blaise Compaore.

General Diendere and his co-defendants are charged with treason, undermining State security and murder.

Credibility test
Human rights organisations in Burkina Faso see this trial as a test for the credibility of country’s judiciary.

In September 2015, elements of the old presidential guard briefly took hostage some members of the transitional government.

The coup backfired because of street protests supported by the army. At least 14 people died and more than 200 people were injured in the unrest.

BBC/Sammie