Burkina Faso's Junta Extends Rule for Another Five Years

Capitaine Ibrahim Traoré

The army has ruled Burkina Faso since 2022, a country ravaged by growing attacks by Islamist militants.

The military junta in Burkina Faso will retain power for another five years, delaying the transition back to democracy in the West African nation.

The decision was announced after the signing of a new charter following national consultations in the capital, Ouagadougou, on Saturday.

Civil society representatives, security and defense forces and lawmakers in the transitional assembly participated in the talks, which most political parties boycotted.

"The duration of the transition is fixed at 60 months from July 2, 2024," Colonel Moussa Diallo, chairman of the organizing committee of the national dialogue process said.

He added that coup leader and acting president Ibrahim Traore could run in any elections at the end of the transition period.

What's the situation in Burkina Faso?

The army has governed Burkina Faso since 2022, carrying out two coups that it said were justified in large part by the persistent insecurity.

The country has been ravaged by growing attacks by Muslim extremists linked to al-Qaida and the so-called Islamic State group.

The violence has killed thousands, displaced more than 2 million people and pushed tens of thousands to the brink of starvation.

Human rights groups have accused Burkina Faso's junta leaders of abuses against civilians during their military campaigns against jihadists, and of silencing media and opposition leaders.

After taking power, the coup leaders expelled French troops and diplomats, and have instead turned to Russia for military assistance.

The junta had initially set a goal of conducting elections to return the country to democratic rule by July 2024.

But Traore had repeatedly warned that holding elections would be difficult given the perilous security situation.

tg/sri (dpa, AFP, AP, Reuters)

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