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Burkina Faso marks one year of military rule with dozens of events

A rally in support of the military is taking place in Burkina Faso to mark the first anniversary of the coup that brought Captain Ibrahim Traoré to power.

It comes after authorities announced a failed coup attempt on Tuesday.

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Hundreds of people gathered at Place Nationale in the capital Ouagadougou and several other towns, responding to calls by organizers that foreign forces were behind the attempt to overthrow the government.

One of the protesters’ main demands is the adoption of a new constitution. Amid speeches of support and performances by artists, the flags of Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali and Guinea could also be seen as signs of solidarity with other military-led countries in West African. Protesters staged a spontaneous demonstration on Tuesday night to express solidarity with the authorities, amid rumors of splits in the armed forces and a possible counter-coup .

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Four officials were arrested in connection with the reported coup plot.

The junta came to power after two military coups last year, fueled in part by a worsening Muslim insurgency linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

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But Burkina Faso’s military leaders have so far struggled to contain the situation, despite promises to fight unrest. Rebel attacks have increased in the country, threatening the stability of the wider West African Sahel region.

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