Burkina Faso

CrisisWatch Burkina Faso

Deteriorated Situation

Ouagadougou announced withdrawal from West African regional bloc alongside Mali and Niger, dealing blow to regional integration; authorities claimed foiling coup attempt and Russian troop deployment continued.

Junta announced leaving ECOWAS, defying pressure to restore constitutional rule. Junta leaders of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger 28 Jan announced leaving ECOWAS, denouncing “inhumane” sanctions imposed by regional bloc following coups. ECOWAS immediately said three countries were “important members of the Community” and bloc “remains committed to finding a negotiated solution to the political impasse”; also said it had not yet received formal withdrawal notification.

Deployment of Russian troops accelerated. Contingent of about 100 Russian military personnel 24 Jan reportedly arrived in capital Ouagadougou in what appeared to be initial phase of 300-member force deployment.

Authorities continued to silence dissent amid report of coup plot. Authorities 18 Jan announced foiling coup attempt scheduled to take place 14 Jan, accused network of military officers, as well civilians and activists, of conspiring to destabilise institutions. Meanwhile, silencing of dissent continued. Notably, men in civilian clothes 24 Jan arrested lawyer and political activist Guy-Hervé Kam in capital Ouagadougou on undisclosed charges; his political movement accused transitional authorities of orchestrating “kidnapping”.

Govt forces and civilian auxiliaries continued to clash with jihadist militants. In Centre-North region, al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) militants 3 Jan attacked military base in Gabou town, Sanmatenga province, killing seventeen members of state-sponsored civilian militia (VDPs). In Sahel region, army 21 Jan reportedly killed prominent leader of Islamic State Sahel Province, Harouna Oulel, near Oueldi village, Oudalan province. NGO Human Rights Watch 25 Jan accused security forces of killing at least 60 civilians in drone strikes between Aug and Nov 2023, said attacks may amount to war crimes. Transitional President Capt. Traoré 5 and 10 Jan shared details about previously announced tax hikes on salaries and govt bonuses and benefit increases for VDPs; new taxes illustrate Ouagadougou’s financial difficulties, while prospect of better conditions for VDPs may backfire if authorities fail to fulfil promises.

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In The News

30 wrz 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

Mathieu Pellerin

Senior Consulting Analyst, Sahel

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