In the midst of continuous upheaval and a coup attempt in Burkina Faso, President Roch Kabore's official account issued a tweet calling on the army to lay down guns and protect democratic achievements.
"Our country is going through a terrible period. At this critical juncture, we must protect our democratic gains. I encourage those who have picked up guns to put them down in the national good. We must address our contradictions through communication and listening " read the post.
Burkina Faso's Army said on Monday that it has deposed President Kabore, suspended the Constitution, dissolved the government and national assembly, and shut the country's borders. Following the mutiny, Kabore was seized and brought to a military barracks, according to a security source.
Burkina Faso's ruling party, the People's Movement for Progress (PMP), also reported that the President had escaped a "failed murder attempt" earlier in the day.
Burkina Faso imposed a statewide curfew on Sunday after reports of shooting in certain barracks early in the morning. The Minister of National Education issued a statement declaring the closure of schools on Monday and Tuesday.
Gunshots were heard in barracks in the capital, Ouagadougou, and other locations early Sunday morning. The administration verified the gunshots but dismissed claims on social media that the army had taken control. The coup has been criticised by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who has urged on the military to "guarantee the preservation and physical integrity" of Kabore.
The African Union and the Economic Community of West African States, a regional organisation, have both criticised the revolt, with the latter claiming that the military are responsible for the deposed President's safety. The coup occurred a week after 11 soldiers were detained on suspicion of planning to overthrow Kabore. Burkina Faso has become the third West African country to be taken over by the military in recent years.