| 4 March 2024, Monday |

Burkina Faso national conference approves 3-year military-led transition

According to a Reuters reporter, a national convention in Burkina Faso has adopted a charter that would allow a junta that took power in the West African country in January to lead a three-year transition.

After a day of debate in the capital, Ouagadougou, the conference accepted the charter, which was subsequently signed by junta head Lt. Colonel Henri-Paul Damiba in the early hours of Tuesday.

Damiba, who remained silent throughout the signing, was the mastermind behind the January 24 coup that deposed President Roch Marc Kabore.

The coup, which is the fourth in the West African area in 18 months, following two in Mali and an attempted coup in Guinea Bissau in early February, has aroused fears of a democratic backslide in a region that had been losing its ‘coup’ reputation.

A commission that wrote the transitional charter advocated a two-and-a-half-year transition, citing the junta’s claim that the country required two years to stabilize and hold elections.

Armed militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State have killed thousands of people and displaced hundreds of thousands in the West African Sahel region, rendering swaths of territory ungovernable and weakening governments. Burkina Faso, along with neighbors Mali and Niger, is struggling to contain attacks by armed militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State who have killed thousands of people and displaced hundreds of thousands.

The charter was praised by Eddie Komboigo, the chairman of a major opposition party that finished second in the 2020 presidential election.

“That’s true that not everyone will be happy with the transitional charter… but it was the consensus that we reached,” Komboigo added, asking the junta to talk with regional leaders and foreign allies so that everyone can agree on the transitional period’s length.

Burkina Faso has been expelled from the Economic Community of West African States and the African Union, which have both called for a swift return to constitutional order, while the United States has stopped roughly $160 million in aid as a result of the coup.

  • Reuters