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Burkina Faso approves 3-year military-led transition

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
New military leader Of Burkina Faso Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba delivers a speech in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on January 27, 2022, in this screen grab taken from video.

Burkina Faso has adopted a transitional charter that will allow the ruling junta to lead a three-year transition in the West African country.

A "national forum" gathering political parties, trade unions, and grassroots groups approved the charter after a day-long debate in the capital, Ouagadougou. The charter was later signed by junta leader Lieutenant Colonel Henri-Paul Damiba in the early hours of Tuesday.

A commission that drafted the charter had said the junta needed a two-and-a-half year transition period to stabilize the country and organize elections.

The Jan. 24 dramatic coup led by Damiba saw President Marc Kabore being ousted, the country’s constitution being suspended, and the government and parliament being dissolved.

The adoption of the charter comes on the heels of regional demands for a swift return to civilian rule. 

Burkina Faso was suspended from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union, both of which have called for a speedy return to constitutional order.

Governments in West and Central Africa are on high alert for coups after successful putsches over the past 18 months in Mali and Guinea, and an attempted coup in Guinea Bissau in early February.

The military also took over in Chad last year after President Idriss Deby died on the battlefield.

Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger are struggling to contain armed militants that control swathes of territory in the porous border area of the West African Sahel, a region larger than the size of Germany.


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