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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement by the National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice on the Situation in Burkina Faso

The United States condemns, in the strongest terms, the unconstitutional seizure of power by elements of the Presidential Security Regiment in Burkina Faso. We call on the responsible parties to release immediately those being detained, order aligned forces to stand down, respect the rights of civilians to peacefully assemble, and put Burkina Faso back on the path to presidential elections in October.

We continue to assess the facts as the situation unfolds. We are deeply disappointed that the self-interested actions of a few are threatening the historic opportunity that the people of Burkina Faso have to cast their ballots and build a new future for the country. Nearly a year ago, a broad coalition came together in Burkina Faso to reject attempts by the previous president to extend his stay in office illegitimately. They demanded respect for the constitution and the opportunity to change their government through a legitimate process. These courageous efforts to advance Burkinabe democracy must not be undone, and the United States stands with the people of Burkina Faso in rejecting democratic backsliding.

The United States will continue to work with our partners, including the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union, and the United Nations, to bring about a peaceful resolution. We will review our foreign assistance to Burkina Faso in light of evolving events.