Top Burkina Faso Generals On Trial Over Failed 2015 Coup

More than 80 people went on trial before a military court in Burkina Faso on Tuesday over a failed 2015 coup in a case seen as a test for justice in the West African country.

Two top generals accused of masterminding the plot, Gilbert Diendere and Djibrill Bassole, were cheered by supporters as they arrived at the court in an upmarket district of the capital Ouagadougou.

Security was high for what is expected to be a lengthy trial, with forces guarding a 200-metre (yard) cordon around a banquet hall which has been transformed into a military tribunal.

Bassole and Diendere — key allies of former president Blaise Compaore who was chased from power in October 2014 — are among a total of 84 people on trial, including 66 military officials and 18 civilians.

They face a variety of charges including treason, undermining state security and murder over the coup launched in September 2015 by Compaore’s old presidential guard against the transitional government that took power after the veteran leader’s fall.

The elite unit known as the RSP briefly took the country’s leaders hostage before the coup was thwarted by street protesters and support from the army which attacked the plotters’ barracks.

Fourteen people died and 270 were injured in the unrest.