I’II only return Burkina Faso to civil rule when conditions are right – new leader, Damiba

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Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba (Google photo)

ECOWAS condemns resurgence of coup d’etats in Burkina Faso

By Valentine Amanze

The new military government of Burkina Faso is not in a hurry to return the West African country to civilian rule.

In his maiden speech after the takeover of government on Monday, the 41-year-old new leader, Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba, said that he would only return the country to the normal constitutional order “when the conditions are right”.

Wearing a red beret and army fatigues in his national address on Thursday evening, Damiba said: “When the conditions are right, according to the deadline that our people will define in all sovereignty, I commit to a return to a normal constitutional order.”

He blamed the ousted president for failing to contain violence by Islamist militants.

BBC had reported that Damiba led the mutiny that ousted President Roch Kaboré on Monday.

He made his first national speech on the eve of an emergency summit of West African leaders, called in response to the coup.

Meanwhile, on Friday, the regional bloc, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), suspended Burkina Faso because of the military takeover.

The 15-member bloc also called for the immediate release from house arrest of the ousted president and other detained officials. ECOWAS agreed to send a delegation to meet the coup leaders in the capital, Ouagadougou.

At the start of the virtual summit, Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo said: “The resurgence of coup d’etats in our region is in direct violation of our democratic tenets. It represents a threat to peace, security and stability in West-Africa.”

Burkina Faso is the third West African country to witness a military takeover since last year. Guinea and Mali have both had sanctions imposed on them by ECOWAS to press them to return to constitutional order.

 

valoa2000@yahoo.com

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