Burkina Faso’s Military Regime Extends Rule for Five More Years

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Burkina Faso’s military regime, which seized power in a 2022 coup, will extend its rule for five years under an accord adopted during national consultations on Saturday, according to Colonel Moussa Diallo, chairman of the organizing committee of the national dialogue process.

“The duration of the transition is fixed at 60 months from July 2, 2024,” Colonel Diallo announced after the talks. He added that coup leader and acting president Ibrahim Traore could run in any elections at the end of the transition period.

The national dialogue, initially set for two days, began earlier on Saturday intending to chart a return to civilian rule for the nation, which is plagued by jihadi violence. Burkina Faso’s army has governed the country since 2022, justifying two coups largely due to ongoing security issues.

Jihadi rebels linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group have been conducting a violent insurgency since 2015, resulting in thousands of deaths and millions displaced. The initial national dialogue established a charter that installed Traore as president and formed a government and legislative assembly.

Under the new charter, traditional party quotas for legislative seats will be eliminated, with “patriotism” being the sole criterion for selecting deputies. “You have just rewritten a new page in the history of our country,” stated Minister of Territorial Affairs Emile Zerbo during the meeting.

The initial charter set the transition period at 21 months, expiring on July 1. However, Traore had indicated that elections would be challenging due to the security situation.

The new charter also introduces the “Korag,” a body to oversee the implementation of the country’s strategic vision, whose composition and operations are determined by the president.

Civil society representatives, security forces, and lawmakers participated in the weekend talks, although most political parties boycotted the event.

Human rights groups have accused Burkina Faso’s junta of civilian abuses during military campaigns against jihadis and of suppressing media and opposition voices. Since taking power, the junta expelled French troops and diplomats, opting instead for military assistance from Russia.

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