Friday, April 12, 2024

African Union suspends Burkina Faso after military coup

Uba Group

The African Union has announced the suspension of Burkina Faso from all its activities in response to last week’s military coup, effective until constitutional order is restored.

AU gave the indication on Monday.

Burkina Faso was also suspended from the Economic Community of West African States after the January 24 coup that deposed President Roch Kabore.

An ECOWAS delegation, on Monday, met with Kabore and found him in good spirits, said Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Ghana’s Foreign Minister and head of the Mission to Ouagadougou.

The ousted president reportedly looked well, had access to his doctors, and was allowed visits from his family, Botchway told journalists, without saying where the meeting took place.

Previously, no information was disclosed about his whereabouts or condition since he was toppled.

The delegation also met with the coup leaders, including the new head of state, Lt.-Col. Paul-Henri Damiba, to discuss security and the political transition, she said.

“They seemed very open to the proposals and to us that is a good sign,” said Botchway, who added, “It is our position that the transition should be short so that Burkina Faso can return quickly to constitutional order.”

The coup in Burkina Faso was the fourth in West Africa in 18 months, including two in Mali.

The AU and ECOWAS suspended two other members, Mali and Guinea, after their own military takeovers last year.

While regional leaders and allies condemned the coup, which they fear could further destabilise a country beset by Islamist violence, they found themselves with limited leverage.

The putschists, led by Damiba, who call themselves the Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration, issued a preliminary charter on Monday laying out basic rights and establishing the MPSR as the central authority while a transitional government was put in place.

In a statement read on national television, the MPSR declared Damiba the president of Burkina Faso and head of the armed forces and removed the army chief of staff and the head of the national intelligence agency from their posts.

The constitution, which the officers suspended when they seized power, had been re-instated except for any parts that contradicted the new charter, the statement read.

Botchway was quoted as saying that the ECOWAS delegation would report details of the visit and, on Thursday, there would be another meeting with regional heads of state.


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