(Bloomberg) -- Burkina Faso protest movements vowed to maintain their demands for President Roch Marc Christian Kabore to step down after police fired teargas to disperse a rally on Saturday.

Protesters gathered near the Place de la Nation in the center of the capital, Ouagadougou, to call for Kabore’s departure, and for French troops to leave the country. France has about 5,000 troops battling Islamist insurgents across West Africa’s Sahel region, with a limited presence in Burkina Faso.

The president, who came to power on the back of the popular uprising that ousted longterm leader Blaise Compaore in 2014, is facing growing discontent with his government’s inability to tackle a sprawling Islamist insurgency, along with accusations of corruption and bad governance. 

Kabore, 64, took to state TV this week in an attempt to calm tensions, promising reforms including a reorganization of military leadership. A movement known as Save Burkina Faso said its protests would go ahead, despite authorities in the capital declaring them illegal. 

“We refuse any attempt to muzzle our people and call on the picmilitants to remain mobilized until the unconditional departure of this regime, which is struggling to face up to its responsibilities,” the movement said in an emailed statement Saturday.

 

 

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.