Burkina Faso

CrisisWatch Burkina Faso

Unchanged Situation

Amid countrywide insecurity, new transitional leadership consolidated control following late September coup.

New coup leaders secured national and regional support. Supporters of new coup leader Capt. Ibrahim Traoré 2 Oct marched in capital Ouagadougou waving Russian flag and threw rocks at French embassy on allegations that deposed President Lt. Col. Damiba was hiding out at French base to plot “counteroffensive”; Paris immediately denied any involvement. Damiba same day agreed to step down and left for neighbouring Togo. Traoré 2-3 Oct reportedly secured support from military chain of command, 4 Oct met with West African regional bloc ECOWAS mediator for Burkina Faso, former Nigerien President Issoufou. New transition charter, released mid-Oct, maintained Damiba’s commitment to hold elections by July 2024, prohibited transitional leadership from running in polls and confirmed Traoré’s appointment as head of state. Traoré 21 Oct took office as transitional president, next day named jurist Apollinaire Joachim Kyelem de Tembela as interim PM, and 25 Oct named govt of 23 ministers, including three members of military and five former Damiba ministers. Authorities 24-25 Oct announced initiative to recruit 50,000 civilians as army auxiliaries to help battle jihadists. Hundreds 28 Oct demonstrated in Ouagadougou demanding end of French military presence.

Insecurity remained rampant across country. In Sahel region’s Soum province, al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) 24 Oct attacked army base in Djibo town, which has been under jihadist blockade for several months, leaving ten soldiers dead and over 50 wounded; 18 militants also killed. In Sahel region’s Oudalan province, presumed Islamic State-Sahel (IS Sahel) 11 Oct killed four people and kidnapped at least seven others in mosque in Gorom-Gorom commune; deadly clashes between IS Sahel and JNIM reported 8 and 10 Oct in Gorom-Gorom and Gountoure localities. JNIM continued sporadic attacks in Centre-North region’s Namentenga province. Notably, suspected JNIM 3 Oct seized Bouroum town, killing at least seven including three civilians; 15 Oct ambushed armed forces in Silmangué locality, leaving 12 security forces dead. In East region, suspected jihadists 29 Oct ambushed military convoy near Kikideni locality (Gourma province), killing at least 15 security forces.

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In The News

30 Sep 2022
Tensions within the army [in Burkina Faso] have exacerbated over the past months because President Damiba has not been able to restore security in the country. Financial Times
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Mathieu Pellerin

Senior Consulting Analyst, Sahel
26 Jan 2022
Considering Ecowas’ recent failures to deter coups, what happened in Mali and Burkina Faso may inspire other officers in the region. Bloomberg

Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim

Consulting Analyst, Sahel
1 Apr 2021
Putting a bounty on militant leaders’ heads, these types of policy moves, make negotiations and outreach [in Burkina Faso] quite a bit harder. Foreign Policy

Hannah Armstrong

Former Senior Consulting Analyst, Sahel
8 Jan 2020
Burkina is a gateway to coastal West Africa and there is a real concern that jihadist groups may see it as a launching pad to gain other footholds in the coastal region. Financial Times

Comfort Ero

President & CEO
6 Mar 2018
In Burkina Faso, the intelligence system did not rest on an institution but on the shoulders of one man, General Gilbert Diendere. We know that some of the 566 soldiers h... AFP

Rinaldo Depagne

Deputy Program Director, Africa & Project Director, West Africa
20 Jun 2017
There is a strong sense [in Burkina Faso] that the state has never really done much for the north. [...] Strengthening its military presence isn’t enough – they need to e... Bloomberg

Cynthia Ohayon

Former Analyst, West Africa

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