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after the coup, ECOWAS suspends the country, without further sanctions – RT in French
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after the coup, ECOWAS suspends the country, without further sanctions – RT in French
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The Community of West African States, which is calling for the release of the recently overthrown President Christian Kaboré, has so far stuck to a suspension of Burkina Faso’s participation in its bodies.

Following the January 24 coup, Burkina Faso was suspended on January 28 by the Community of West African States (ECOWAS), following a virtual summit of the organization which did not has not yet decided on other sanctions. ECOWAS has demanded the release of former President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, placed under house arrest, as well as other officials arrested during the takeover by soldiers led by Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba. The summit, which lasted about three hours, also decided to send to Ouagadougou, from January 29, a mission of the chiefs of staff of the ECOWAS armies, which will be followed by a ministerial mission on January 31.

A new ECOWAS summit will be held on February 3 in Accra (Ghana), this time in the presence of the heads of state of the region, in order to study the report of these missions and to decide whether or not to impose other sanctions, as it did for Mali and Guinea where the military also took power recently.

On the evening of the 27th, in his first speech since taking power, the new strongman of Burkina Faso declared on national television that his country “needed its partners more than ever”. Saying that he understood the “legitimate doubts” aroused by the coup, he assured that Burkina “will continue[it] to respect international commitments, in particular with regard to respect for human rights”, specifying that the independence of the judiciary would also be ensured. Lieutenant-Colonel Damiba also pledged “to return to a normal constitutional life”, as soon as “the conditions are met”, without however mentioning a precise timetable. A reduction in the curfew put in place on January 24 has however been announced: initially introduced from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., it goes from midnight to 4 a.m.

The military want to define a “roadmap” for the country

The population blamed the ousted president in particular for not having succeeded in stemming the deterioration in security since 2015, particularly in the north and east of the country. In the wake of Mali and Niger, Burkina Faso is caught in a spiral of violence attributed to armed jihadist groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group, which have killed more than 2,000 people and forced at least 1, 5 million people to flee their homes.

Since taking power, Lieutenant-Colonel Damiba has consulted the overthrown ministers as well as the unions, asking the former not to leave the territory without authorization, promising the latter to consult them and involve them in the transition. In his televised address, he assured that he wanted to associate all the “living forces” of the nation for “a roadmap” with a view to redressing Burkina Faso.

Several organizations seem inclined to work with him. “We have an interest in this army succeeding in stabilizing the country,” says the Sauvons le Burkina Faso association, which ardently demanded the resignation of President Kaboré. Several opposition parties to the latter, including the most important, the Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP, close to Blaise Compaoré, the former president ousted in 2014 after 27 years in power) also expressed “their availability to appreciate the vision that will be submitted to them” by the military. Roland Bayala, spokesperson for the Coalition of African Patriots of Burkina Faso (COPA/BF), which had called for demonstrations against the passage of a French military convoy through the country in November, asked ECOWAS “to be careful to its sanctions against the people of Burkina Faso”, who are not going to “let it go”, in his words.

The question of the future of Roch Marc Christian Kaboré should also arise soon. Under house arrest, he is in good health according to several sources, and has a doctor. During his intervention on January 27, the new strong man of the country did not pronounce his name. On the other hand, he concluded his speech with a motto well known to Burkinabés, that of the country under former President Thomas Sankara: “Homeland or death, we will win”. Progressive leader and pan-African icon, Thomas Sankara was killed in 1987 during a coup fomented by relatives, including Blaise Compaoré who had taken power. The trial of his killers, which began in October 2021 but was put on hold by the putsch, will resume on January 31.

after the coup, ECOWAS suspends the country, without further sanctions – RT in French
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