Burkina Faso celebrates Eid al-Adha after crisis

Burkina Faso celebrates Eid al-Adha after crisis

Worshippers gathered in Burkina Faso’s capital on Thursday (September 24) to pray as they celebrated the Muslim feast of sacrifice Eid al-Adha, following the reinstatement of interim President Michel Kafando after last week’s military coup led by General Diendere.

The Mogho Naaba, the head of the ethnic Mossi community, attended a giant prayer organised in a stadium in Ouagadougou.

“It’s a blessing from God. We did not expect to be able to celebrate. Up until yesterday, no one knew we would peacefully celebrate the holiday. We thank God, and we think that Burkina is on the right track to ensure a transition toward lasting peace,” said one worshipper, Daouda Traore.

During the religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide every year, a sheep is usually sacrificed and the meat shared between family and friends as well as neighbours and the poor. Shops have re-opened on Ouagadougou and the city’s residents poured onto the streets to celebrate.

“We have never been united in the same way that we are now after recent events. While it was a difficult challenge, this challenge allowed Burkinabes to strengthen their bonds and their solidarity, and I think that never again will Burkina go through a situation like this. I hope that God can hear us,” said worshipper Oumar Yamego.

As life in Ouagadougou returned to normal following stand-offs on Tuesday between pro- and anti-coup forces, Michel Kafando’s restoration on Thursday marked the end of the coup attempt, but questions remained, including how to disarm the presidential guard and whether the coup leaders would be brought to trial.

Many in the country said they opposed an initial proposal by West Africa’s ECOWAS bloc that included amnesty for the coup leaders.

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