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Burkina: the junta consults in Ouagadougou before a West African summit

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Twenty trade unionists were received at the presidential palace by the head of the junta in person, Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, who took power on Monday.

He gave us the assurance that we will be consulted and involved in what will be put in place, declared Marcel Zanté, president of the Trade Union Action Unit which brings together 130 organisations.

Now, we are waiting to see the actions on the ground, before deciding. »

A quote from Marcel Zanté, President of the Union Action Unit

By taking power, the junta pledged to return to constitutional order within a reasonable time.

Since then, no member of the Patriotic Movement for Safeguarding and Restoration (MPSR) junta has spoken publicly.

On Wednesday, the new strongman of Burkina Faso who overthrew the elected president Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, accused of impotence in the face of the jihadist violence which has ravaged this country since 2015 and who has been placed under house arrest, had met with government ministers dissolved.

He asked them not to leave Burkina without authorization and indicated on this occasion that he wanted to involve all the national components in the management of the transition, according to political sources.

On the eve of an ECOWAS summit

The consultations of the actors of Burkinabe political and social society come on the eve of a virtual summit of the member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) which strongly condemned this new coup. In the region.

As it has done before for two other countries where the military took power, Mali and Guinea, the Economic Community of West African States should suspend Burkina Faso from its authorities and probably impose sanctions on the putschists.

Soldiers and a military vehicle in front of the Radiodiffusion Télévision du Burkina site.

Mutineers guarded the headquarters of Radiodiffusion Télévision du Burkina on Monday morning.

Photo: The Canadian Press/AP/Sophie Garcia

The junta must do everything to avoid international sanctions in Burkina Faso, told theFrance Media Agency Clément Sawadogo, vice-president of the People’s Movement for Progress (MPP), party of Mr. Kaboré.

He recalled that Burkina is a landlocked country in a fragile position and that it was necessary find a wise solution to avoid an ongoing security crisis with in addition to a socio-economic crisis.

Unsurprisingly, the coup was condemned by the People’s Movement for Progress who claimed the immediate release of the overthrown president and his prime minister Lassina Zerbo.

Conviction and release also demanded by the international community.

Civil society takes note

Several civil society organizations, including the Balai Citoyen, which played a crucial role in the fall of ex-president Blaise Compaoré in 2014 after 27 years in power, were however more measured.

Our organizations committed to the rule of law and democratic values ​​reject military or constitutional coups [modifications d’articles pour se maintenir au pouvoir], they write in a press release, immediately adding: Nevertheless, they take note of the situation.

Several opposition parties to Mr. Kaboré adopt a similar position, the most important of which, the Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP), is close to Blaise Compaoré.

In a statement, they take note of the change of power and indicate their availability to appreciate the vision that will be submitted to them by the junta.

Civil society organizations demand normal pursuit the trial of the alleged assassins in 1987 of Thomas Sankara, progressive leader and pan-African icon, killed by a coup fomented by relatives, including Blaise Compaoré who had taken power.

Started in October 2021, the trial was interrupted by the putsch, but will resume on Monday before the Ouagadougou military court, said a statement from the military prosecutor’s office.

The prosecution also denies reports of the release of the main defendant present at this trial, General Gilbert Diendéré, a close friend of Blaise Compaoré, another major defendant tried in absence, since he lives in Côte d’Ivoire.

General Diendéré is already serving a 20-year prison sentence for an attempted coup committed in 2015, a year after the fall of Mr. Compaoré.

It is since 2015 that, in the wake of Mali and Niger, Burkina Faso has been caught in a spiral of violence attributed to armed jihadist groups, affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group, which have caused nearly seven years more than 2,000 dead and forced 1.5 million people to flee their homes.

Furthermore, the head of the junta declared that the country had needs of its partners.

Burkina Faso needs its partners more than ever. This is why I call on the international community to support our country so that it can emerge from this crisis as quickly as possible., said the leader of the junta, Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, in an address on national television.

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