Leader of Burkina Faso’s Military Junta Sworn in as Transition President

Burkina Faso’s junta leader Lieut. Col. Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba was inaugurated Wednesday as the transitional president under the West African country’s recently adopted charter.

Damiba’s inauguration came weeks after he was sworn in Feb. 16 as interim president following his recognition by the nation’s Constitutional Council.

Heads of various institutions in the country and members of the diplomatic corps stepped forward to congratulate the new president e during a brief inaugural ceremony that lasted about 30 minutes in the nation’s capital, Ouagadougo.

There were no speeches.

The transition is set for 36 months from the date of the inauguration of the president, according to the charter signed Tuesday by Damiba.

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Damiba led a group of soldiers who ousted former President Roch Kabore in late January.

Kabore was detained and later resigned Jan. 24 following the coup.

A technical committee set up by the junta at the beginning of last month had proposed a 30-month transition period but that was increased during a two-day national forum Monday and Tuesday involving political parties, unions, youth and women.

Under the charter, the president of the transition “is not eligible for the presidential, legislative and municipal elections which will be organized at the end of the transition.”

The same provision applies to the 25 members of the transitional government.

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The charter tasks the transition “to fight against terrorism, restore the integrity of the national territory, provide an effective and urgent response to the humanitarian crisis caused by insecurity as well as strengthen governance and the fight against corruption.”

Damiba has called for national reconciliation, pledged to fight corruption and “govern by example.”

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union suspended Burkina Faso from their governing bodies following the coup.


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