Captain Ibrahim Traoré, author of a coup on Friday, September 30 in Burkina Faso, which has suffered two coups in eight months, was officially appointed on Wednesday, October 5, as president of the country pending the appointment of a president transition by “national meetings”.
“The President of the Patriotic Movement for the Safeguarding and Restoration [MPSR] assumes the functions of Head of State, Supreme Head of the National Armed Forces”indicates a declaration entitled Fundamental Act, which supplements the Constitution of Burkina Faso, “pending the adoption of a transition letter”. This statement was read out by Captain Kiswendsida Farouk Azaria Sorgho, spokesman for the MPSR, the ruling junta, during a special broadcast on national television.
Captain Traoré assured on Monday by RFI radio that he would only embark “current issues” until the appointment of a new transitory civil or military president by “National Meetings” bring together the political, social and civil society forces, which must unite “long before the end of the year”, according to him. On Friday, he ousted Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, who came to power by force in January 2022 by overthrowing President-elect Roch Marc Christian Kaboré.
The law adopted on Wednesday specifies that in “pending the establishment of the transitional bodies”the MPSR “is the guarantor of national independence, territorial integrity, permanence and continuity of the State, respect for international treaties and agreements to which Burkina Faso is a party”. The Constitution, suspended after Friday’s coup, was restored and “will apply unless otherwise provided” to the Basic Law.
The youngest head of state in the world
Ibrahim Traoré, 34, becomes the youngest head of state in the world, ahead of Chilean Gabriel Boric, 36. He takes over the leadership of a state marked by war since 2015 and partially justified his coup by blaming his predecessor Damiba “the continuing deterioration of the security situation”.
Regular attacks by armed groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) group have killed thousands and displaced some two million people. Most of the territory escapes state control, particularly on the borders with Mali and Niger.
Ibrahim Traoré received on Tuesday a delegation from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that came to assess the situation a few days after the coup. She left “confident”according to former President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou, a member of the ECOWAS delegation and mediator for Burkina Faso.
Mr. Issoufou judged that the country had been “at the edge of the abyss” after a weekend of unrest and uncertainty over the acceptance of the coup by Lt. Col. Damiba, who initially opposed his ouster before finally resigning and leaving the country on Sunday.
Demonstrations were also held over the weekend against France and for a strengthening of military cooperation with Russia, whose influence continues to grow in several French-speaking African countries, including neighboring Mali. Buildings representing French interests, including the embassy in Ouagadougou, were attacked by protesters.
Captain Traoré, at the end of the meeting with ECOWAS on Tuesday night, had assured that Ouagadougou would continue to respect the commitments made by Mr. Damiba with ECOWAS, in particular on the organization of elections and the return of civilians to power no later than July 2024.
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