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Burkina Faso extends junta rule by five years

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Burkina Faso’s ruling junta will remain in power for another five years after participants in national talks on Saturday proposed extending the transition back to democracy by 60 months from July, according to the text of an approved new charter.

The military authorities seized power in a 2022 coup and promised to hold elections in July this year to restore civilian rule, but also said that security considerations would take priority.

According to the new charter, signed by military leader Ibrahim Traore, the transition is set at 60 months from July 2.

“The elections marking the end of the transition may be organised before this deadline if the security situation so permits,” it added.

The substantial delay is likely to deepen concerns about democratic backsliding in West and Central Africa, where there have been eight coups over the past four years.

The charter also allows Traore to run for president when the elections take place.

Violence in West Africa’s Sahel region, fuelled by a decade-long fight with Islamist groups linked to al Qaeda and the Islamic State has worsened since respective militaries seized power in Burkina Faso and neighbouring Mali and Niger.

Burkina Faso experienced a severe escalation of deadly attacks in 2023, with more than 8,000 people reportedly killed, according to U.S.-based crisis-monitoring group ACLED.
–Reuters

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