In a troubled region, Burkina Faso is a rare example of religious diversity and tolerance. But a perceived discrepancy between a significant number of Muslims and their low level of public representation has created tensions. To safeguard Burkina’s model of peaceful coexistence, the government must address this sensitive issue through careful reforms, particularly in the education system.
Insecurity in north persisted. Following attack on security forces at Nassoumbou mid-Dec reportedly by new jihadist group Ansarul Islam led by Burkinabè preacher Malam Ibrahim Dicko, gunmen allegedly linked to group 1 Jan killed imam in Sibé and seriously injured man in Djibo, both in Burkina Faso’s Sahel region; both targets were former members of Dicko’s group. Gunmen 10 Jan attacked mining site in Kerboulé, Sahel region stealing motorbikes. Military 13 Jan killed one civilian and wounded two others in Banh, North region. Armed men 25 Jan ordered teachers in Baraboulé, Sahel region to teach Islam exclusively. Govt, Mali and Niger 24 Jan agreed to create joint military force to counter insecurity in border areas in Liptako-Gourma zone. Constitutional commission 10 Jan presented draft constitution which would reduce presidential powers and limit presidential terms to two and MPs’ terms to three.
Burkina Faso’s democratically elected new government faces great challenges to deliver on justice, socio-economic needs and regional security. To succeed, authorities must resist the temptation to establish a new one-party hegemony. Instead, they should engage in social dialogue and political reconciliation, military reform, and friendly relations with neighbouring Côte d’Ivoire.
Burkina Faso’s faltering transition faces elections in less than four months amid political tensions and social agitation. A controversial electoral code could inject the poison of exclusion into a country that is attached to multiparty politics. It is time for political and civil society actors to begin a formal dialogue to reduce the risks.
Three months after Blaise Compaoré’s departure, Burkina Faso’s transition is moving forward in an uncertain context. The provisional government, with the help of its international partners, should initiate urgent reforms and ensure the October 2015 elections allow for peaceful, democratic change.
If President Blaise Compaoré fails to manage his departure well, the country could face political upheaval in an increasingly troubled region.
Crisis Group's West Africa Analyst Cynthia Ohayon explains the challenges of the upcoming elections in Burkina Faso and measures how to mitigate the country's tensions after the failed coup in September 2015.
Le Burkina Faso, où des soldats du Régiment de Sécurité Présidentielle (RSP) refusent toujours de désarmer malgré l'échec de leur coup d'Etat, doit, pour sortir durablement de la crise, "trouver sa voie médiane" entre besoins de "justice" et de "réconciliation", estime Cynthia Ohayon, experte de l'ONG International Crisis Group, basée à Dakar.
Originally published in AFP
La fragile transition au Burkina Faso dispose de moins de quatre mois pour organiser des élections dans un contexte de tensions politiques et de forte agitation sociale. Dans cette vidéo, Cynthia Ohayon, analyste principal pour l'Afrique de l'ouest pour Crisis Group, analyse le processus électoral au Burkina Faso et recommande aux acteurs politiques et à la société civile de s’engager dans un dialogue formel.
Originally published in Jeune Afrique