A famous lawyer and leader of a civil society organization in Burkina Faso, Guy Hervé Kam, was kidnapped on the night of Wednesday January 24 to Thursday January 25 in Ouagadougou by men in civilian clothes, his organization announced in a press release.

The “Serve and not serve yourself” (SENS) movement “learned with indignation of the kidnapping of its national coordinator, Me Guy Hervé Kam […] at Ouagadougou international airport, coming from Bobo-Dioulasso”, the second city ​​of the country. He “was kidnapped by men in civilian clothes and taken into an unmarked vehicle towards an unknown destination,” the movement continues in its press release, citing witnesses on site during this kidnapping.

Guy Hervé Kam is particularly known in Burkina for having been the lawyer for the family of Thomas Sankara, former head of state (1983-1987) killed during a putsch perpetrated by his successor, Blaise Compaoré. A former magistrate, he has also been a leader of civil society for many years in Burkina. He notably co-founded the Citizen Balai, a movement which played a key role in the fall of the Blaise Compaoré regime in October 2014.

Several cases of kidnapping of votes considered hostile to the military regime in power since a coup d’état in September 2022, which brought Captain Ibrahim Traoré to power, have been reported in recent months in Ouagadougou. The former Minister of Foreign Affairs Ablassé Ouédraogo was notably kidnapped at the end of December and the former chief of staff of the gendarmerie, Lieutenant-Colonel Evrard Somda, in January.

The SENS movement called on the transitional authorities, whom it considers responsible for the kidnapping of Me Kam, to “release him without delay […] as well as all other civilian and non-civilian citizens kidnapped without any legal procedure” . “It is necessary and urgent to do everything possible so that light is shed on this umpteenth extrajudicial kidnapping,” concluded SENS, considering that the principles of the rule of law are “seriously threatened”.

The transitional government resulting from the coup claimed in January to have foiled “yet another attempt at destabilization” and launched a hunt against a network involving soldiers and civilians. Since 2015, Burkina Faso has been confronted with jihadist violence attributed to armed movements affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group. This violence left nearly 20,000 dead and more than 2 million internally displaced.