Burkina Faso again plunges in political uncertainty

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Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso military leader Paul-Henri Damiba has been deposed in the country’s second coup in a year, as army Captain Ibrahim Traore took charge, dissolving the transitional government and suspending the constitution.

Roch Kabore, the president of Burkina Faso, was deposed on January 24 by a military coup headed by Lieutenant Colonel Paul Henri Damiba. The Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration was founded after he overthrew the government and suspended the country’s constitution. Damiba had pledged to provide a roadmap for restoring the rule of law. Despite a 36-month transitional timeframe, Burkina Faso’s political future is still uncertain.

Furthermore, changes in adjacent nations may support the consolidation of military rule. The uprising continues a troubling trend that has plagued Africa over the past two years, during which numerous states have had coups. With two in Mali, one in Guinea, Chad, Sudan, and now Burkina Faso, the situation in this highly vulnerable area beset by the possibility of jihadist growth runs the risk of snowballing.

Armed Islamic extremists could utilize Burkina Faso as a hub for operations further south as they threaten West Africa from the Horn of Africa to the Sahel. It has long been of concern that Islamic militancy is growing in the Sahel. But now that the crisis has reached Burkina Faso, there is a growing possibility that it may spread to the rest of West Africa.

By allowing jihadists to use the nation as a jumping-off point for operations further south, all the way to the Gulf of Guinea states, some of which have porous land borders with Mali and Niger, the January coup might further destabilize the already unstable region. Burkina Faso is a gateway to the Gulf of Guinea due to its central geographic location and its historical, political, economic, demographic, and religious ties to its southern neighbours.

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Militants thrive in environments of lousy leadership, graft, economic hardship, neglected and underdeveloped peripheries, social injustice, and racial tensions. Many of the Gulf of Guinea states have some internal vulnerabilities despite being wealthier and more politically secure than Sahel countries.

West and Central Africa are experiencing a surge in coup fears, and the unstable political climate in Niger and the ongoing political unrest in Guinea-Bissau do not bode well.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has not stopped this growing trend. The regional body has placed severe penalties on Mali to pressure Bamako to re-establish a democratic government and deter future instances of this kind in the area. The raised patches prove that ECOWAS has failed to assert its authority.

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