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 continued to worsen in Sahel region in north: in Soum province, teachers 1 March left schools in Diguel to demand better security; unidentified assailants attacked school in Kourfayel 3 March, teacher and one other killed; attackers 14 March burned down school in Baraboulé. Armed men 3-4 March threatened schools in neighbouring Bam province in Centre-North region. Sahel region governor 6 March banned vehicle traffic along border with Mali from 5pm to 6am daily for security reasons. Military 23 March killed Harouna Dicko, member of jihadist group Ansarul Islam, and arrested eighteen others in Petega, Soum province. At ruling party Movement of People for Progress (MPP) congress 11-12 March, assembly speaker Salif Diallo elected party president. Army 24 March said emir of jihadist group al-Murabitun Malian Ould Nouiny, known as El Hassan, was behind Jan 2016 Ouagadougou terror attacks.
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.
With jihadists and armed groups exploiting political and security vacuums across the Sahel, Mali and neighbouring states will continue to face insecurity. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2017 annual early-warning report for European policy makers, Crisis Group urges the European Union and its member states to rethink international development strategies and to support local government initiatives that combat radicalisation.
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.