Friday, December 9, 2022

Security fears grow after latest Burkina Faso coup


OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — As Islamic extremists intensified their assaults in Burkina Faso earlier this yr, coup chief Lt. Col. Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba urged the West African nation’s individuals to offer him till September to enhance issues as interim president.

A bunch of junior officers held him to only that Friday night: calling his time up in a brand new coup launched on the final day of the month.

Considerations already had been mounting Saturday, although, that the latest political volatility would additional distract the navy and permit the jihadis to strengthen their grip on rising swaths of the as soon as peaceable nation.

Burkina Faso’s new junta management introduced on state tv that it’ll successfully restart the clock on the highway again to democracy, erasing a lot of the latest diplomacy between Burkina Faso and the West African regional bloc referred to as ECOWAS.

“The Damiba administration had solely simply reached widespread floor with ECOWAS, agreeing to a transition timeline in July,” mentioned Eric Humphery-Smith, senior Africa analyst in danger intelligence firm Verisk Maplecroft.

Burkina Faso’s new chief, Capt. Ibrahim Traore, is vowing to overtake the navy so it’s higher ready to battle extremists. He accused Damiba of following the identical failed methods as former President Roch Marc Christian Kabore, whom Damiba overthrew in a January coup, .

The junta mentioned in a press release late Friday that the nation can be committing “all combating forces to refocus on the safety difficulty and the restoration of the integrity of our territory.” But it surely stays to be seen whether or not the brand new management can flip round a disaster that has pressured 2 million residents to flee their houses.

Earlier this month, Damiba addressed the nation and advised the Burkinabe those that “our efforts have begun to bear fruit on the navy operational degree.” Solely two days later, a roadside bomb struck a navy convoy within the north, killing at the least 35 individuals.

This week, at the least 11 troopers had been killed and 50 civilians went lacking after gunmen attacked a provide convoy in Gaskinde, a commune in Soum province within the Sahel.

“Confronted by the frequently worsening safety scenario, we, the officers and junior officers of the nationwide armed forces, had been motivated to take motion with the will to guard the safety and integrity of our nation,” mentioned the Friday assertion learn by junta spokesman Capt. Kiswendsida Farouk Azaria Sorgho.

“A gathering will probably be convened to undertake a brand new transitional structure constitution and to pick out a brand new Burkina Faso president be it civilian or navy,” the assertion continued.

Friday’s developments felt all too acquainted in West Africa, the place a coup in Mali in August 2020 set off a sequence of navy energy grabs within the area. Mali additionally noticed a second coup 9 months after the August 2020 overthrow of its president, when the junta’s chief sidelined his civilian transition counterparts and put himself alone in cost.

Chrysogone Zougmore, president of the Burkina Faso Motion for Human Rights, known as the developments “very regrettable,” saying the instability wouldn’t assist in the battle in opposition to the Islamic extremist violence.

“How can we hope to unite individuals and the military if the latter is characterised by such critical divisions?” Zougmore mentioned. “It’s time for these reactionary and political navy factions to cease main Burkina Faso adrift.”

___

Mednick reported from Barcelona.

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