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Burkina Faso: National conference opens for appointment of transitional president

Protesters in Ouagadougou   -  
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Burkina Faso

A national meeting opens Friday in Burkina Faso to appoint a transitional president, two weeks after a second coup in eight months brought to power Captain Ibrahim Traore, whose supporters want him to be appointed, despite his stated desire not to be.

The meetings will bring together representatives of the army and police, customary and religious organizations, civil society, trade unions, parties and internally displaced victims of the jihadist attacks that have hit Burkina since 2015.

According to the chairman of their organizing committee, Colonel Major Célestin Compaoré, their objective "is to examine and adopt the transitional charter, designate a transitional president in accordance with the charter, and collect any proposals for the smooth running of the transition.

On January 24, soldiers led by Lieutenant-Colonel Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba and grouped in a junta called the Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration (MPSR) overthrew President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, who was accused of incapacity in the face of the jihadist attacks that have multiplied in Burkina.

The attacks did not stop in eight months and, in view of the constant deterioration of the situation, a new putsch took place on September 30, which brought to power a young 34-year-old captain, Ibrahim Traoré, in order to "refocus the transition on security emergencies," according to the junta.

Officially appointed president shortly after taking power, Captain Traoré said he would only carry out "current affairs" until a new civilian or military transitional president was appointed through a "national conference.

"Why continue?" he told RFI radio after his coup, assuring that his priority was the anti-jihadist struggle and the development of Burkina.

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