Kemi Seba’s stay in Burkina Faso was short-lived. The information was confirmed to Jeune Afrique by several sources: Kemi Seba was expelled from the country on Saturday, October 30 afternoon, the day after his arrival. He allegedly boarded a plane bound for Cotonou.
Friday, October 29, around 2 p.m., Kemi Seba and several people working with him were arrested in Sabou, a small town located on the RN 1, 80 km from Ouagadougou. The Franco-Beninese activist was going to Bobo-Dioulasso to participate in a demonstration “against neocolonialism” which was to be held this Saturday.
According to our sources, Kemi Seba and three members of his NGO, Pan-Africanist Emergencies, were detained by the Burkinabè security services but the reasons for their arrest remain unknown. At this stage, we do not know what they are accused of, ”Roland Bayala, spokesperson for Copa-BF, organizer of the event, told Jeune Afrique. On Saturday morning, they were taken to Ouagadougou airport, according to Prosper Farama, Kemi Seba’s lawyer. If the latter was expelled, his three collaborators are still detained by the Burkinabè security services.
Fight against the French presence
The activist arrived in the country at the invitation of the Coalition of Patriots of Burkina Faso (Copa-BF), a platform which campaigns against the French military presence in the Sahel. Similar protests have already taken place in Mali and Guinea in recent months.
Not having received the green light from the authorities, the organizers decided to postpone the march and offered to hold a meeting instead. “Here again, we received a categorical refusal. The authorities believed that Kemi Seba was coming to destabilize the country. After intense talks, they gave us the governorate hall for a public conference. To our surprise, Kemi Seba was arrested even before arriving at Bobo Dioulasso, ”explains Roland Bayala, spokesperson for the Copa-BF. Which wishes to clarify the position of his movement: “our struggle is directed against the French presence and imperialism and not against our authorities”.
In 2019, Kemi Seba had already been expelled from Ouagadougou after remarks deemed outrageous against the Burkinabè head of state, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, whom he accused of being under the orders of Paris. A Burkinabè court had finally sentenced him to two months in prison suspended for contempt of the president. A year earlier, the anti-CFA activist , who was on a tour of presentation of his book entitled “Free Africa or death” had yet been received with all respect by President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré.
Kemi Seba, whose real name is Stellio Capo Chichi, defines himself as a “pan-African polemicist and lecturer”. Enjoying a certain popularity, but a follower of extremist statements against France and the CFA franc, he is accustomed to arrests and has been expelled many times from several West African countries in recent years.
Before going to Ouagadougou this Friday, he was in Conakry. Three years after being expelled from the country, he had made his big comeback , appearing with Mamadi Doumbouya , the head of the junta that overthrew Alpha Condé on September 5.