Coup in Burkina: West African mission confidently leaves Ouagadougou
Supporters of Burkina Faso's new junta hold a protest against the arrival of the ECOWAS delegation.
The West African mission that came to assess the situation in Burkina Faso, days after a second coup in eight months, left “confident” on Tuesday from Ouagadougou, where demonstrators had gathered to criticize it.
The mission of this delegation from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) ended at the end of this month. afternoon.
It gave him the opportunity to have two important meetings: a first with traditional and religious leaders, and the main meeting with Captain Ibrahim Traoré, the new strongman of the country, said the; former Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou, member of the ECOWAS delegation and mediator for Burkina, who judged that the country had been on the brink of the abyss over the weekend.
“I am totally satisfied with the interview I had with the captain. We leave confident. »
— Mahamadou Issoufou, former Nigerien president and ECOWAS mediator
ECOWAS will continue to support the people of Burkina Faso in this very difficult ordeal they are going through, added Mr. Issoufou.
The meetings were held at the airport Ouagadougou where dozens of demonstrators displayed their hostility, waving Russian flags and chanting anti-France and anti-ECOWAS slogans.
ECOWAS is a shame today, teacher Amadou Sagada told AFP, insisting that the people of Burkina Faso are on their feet and no longer want to let it go.
No to ECOWAS interference, France gets out or Long live Russia-Burkina cooperation, we could hear from the demonstrators.
The delegation had arrived on Tuesday morning to meet Captain Traoré, who on Friday overthrew Lieutenant-Colonel Damiba, who himself came to power in a putsch in January.
This mission is a contact with the new authorities of the transition within the framework of the accompaniment which our country benefits from, had declared Mr. Traoré in a press release before the meeting.
He warned that anyone who undertakes acts likely to disrupt the smooth running of the ECOWAS mission will be subject to the rigor of the law.
During the weekend, while the situation remained confused on the intentions of Mr. Damiba, diplomatic buildings and buildings representing the interests of France had been targeted by demonstrators favorable to Captain Traoré.
After initially opposing his dismissal, Lieutenant-Colonel Damiba ended up agreeing to resign on Sunday and leave for Lomé.
At the end of last week, demonstrators demanding the departure of Mr. Damiba, accused of having been protected by Paris, had already waved Russian flags and demanded a strengthening of military cooperation with Moscow.
< p class="e-p">Russian influence continues to grow in several French-speaking African countries, particularly in Mali and the Central African Republic.
Evguéni Prigojine, a Russian businessman close to the Kremlin and founder of the paramilitary group Wagner, in a social media post, expressed his support for the new Burkinabe leader Traoré.
ECOWAS is regularly accused by its opponents of systematically defending the leaders in place without taking into account popular aspirations, and some of its leaders of being subservient to the former French colonial power.
Captain Traoré promised to respect the commitments made by his predecessor to ECOWAS on the organization of elections and a return of civilians to power no later than July 2024.
He partly justified his coup by blaming his predecessor for the continued deterioration of the security situation in a country plagued by jihadist violence and where bloody attacks against civilians and soldiers have multiplied in recent months.
Since 2015, regular attacks by armed groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) armed group have killed thousands and displaced some two million people. A majority of the territory escapes state control, particularly on the side of the borders with Mali and Niger.
At the end of September, a supply convoy bound for Djibo, one of the major cities in the north of the country under jihadist blockade for several months, had been attacked in Gaskindé.
A new report published on Tuesday reports 27 soldiers killed – against eleven before – whose funeral will take place on Friday in Ouagadougou.
In a statement posted on social media and authenticated by the American center SITE for monitoring jihadist movements, the Support Group to Islam and Muslims (GSIM, an al-Qaeda affiliate) claimed responsibility for the ambush.
Djibo, who did not see a convoy road supply arriving for about forty days, according to the transport union, was refueled by helicopter Tuesday during the day. Seventy tons of food were sent there, according to the Burkinabe army staff.