Burkina Faso extends military rule by five years

On May 26, 2024, the military junta in Burkina Faso announced that it will extend its rule for an additional five years. The state-owned broadcaster reported that Captain Ibrahim Traoré, the country’s current military ruler, will be eligible to run in the next presidential election.

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Burkina Faso is one of three West African nations currently under military rule. Traoré seized power in a coup on September 30, 2022, claiming that his predecessor, Paul-Henri Damiba, had failed to address the growing insurgency in the country.

Damiba had himself taken power in a coup that removed the previous president, Roch Kaboré, in 2022. Since 2015, Burkina Faso has faced a worsening security crisis, with jihadist groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State launching attacks that have resulted in thousands of deaths and the displacement of millions.

According to the amended charter announced by the junta, a 60-month transition period will begin on July 2, 2024. While the elections marking the end of this transition may be organized earlier “if the security situation so permits,” the junta has stated it will hold onto power for at least another five years.

This decision follows a national consultation meeting held in the capital, Ouagadougou. The junta has faced at least two attempts to wrest power from its control since the September 2022 coup.

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