by Staff Writers
Ouagadougou (AFP) April 6, 2017
A military tribunal on Thursday jailed 15 Burkinabe soldiers for up to 17 years each over a failed raid on an arms depot last year.
The soldiers on trial included 10 members of the former elite presidential guard (RSP) of ousted leader Blaise Compaore.
They were found guilty of taking the arms which were allegedly to be used to attack Ouagadougou military prison in order to release former RSP head General Gilbert Diendere and other soldiers jailed for their alleged involvement in a failed coup in September 2015.
The coup bid was thwarted by street protesters and support from the army, which attacked the plotters' barracks.
Two of the accused, including the suspected ringleader Sergeant-Major Ali Sanou, received the 17-year-term for "military conspiracy".
Thirteen other soldiers were handed 10-year jail terms.
The military prosecutor has sought prison terms of up to 20 years for the accused.
The convicted troops have complained of being tortured to extract confessions.
"The verdict surprised us" said Fako Bruno Ouattara, lawyer for Sanou, adding that the troops had taken the arms "to save people's lives". He said there would be an appeal.
Bangui, Central African Republic (AFP) April 5, 2017
With EU help, the Central African Republic is seeking to turn the page on years of bloodshed by retraining its army and by month's end a first battalion is to present arms. The European Union last year unveiled the launch of a two-year military training mission for CAR troops in the capital Bangui, along the lines of similar assistance in conflict-hit Somalia and Mali. Some 70 instructor ... read more
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