Burkina Faso extends military rule by 5 years

Burkina Faso’s military government, which took power in a coup in 2022, has announced an extension of its rule by an additional five years.

This decision was confirmed by Colonel Moussa Diallo, chairman of the national consultations held on Saturday.

“The transition period is set for 60 months starting from July 2, 2024,” Diallo stated. This extension permits the current leader, coup leader and acting president Ibrahim Traore, to potentially run in future elections that may occur at the end of this period.

The national dialogue, aimed at outlining a path to civilian rule for the country, was initially scheduled to last two days and began on Saturday. Burkina Faso has been under military control since 2022, with the government citing security challenges as the reason for two coups in recent years.

Since 2015, Burkina Faso has been plagued by a jihadist insurgency linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group, resulting in thousands of deaths and the displacement of millions. This ongoing violence has been a central justification for the extended military rule.

The initial national dialogue established a transitional charter that named Traore as president and created a government and legislative assembly. The new charter, agreed upon on Saturday, will abandon quotas for traditional parties in the assembly, instead selecting deputies based on “patriotism.”

Originally, the transition plan allowed for a 21-month period to return to civilian rule, with the deadline expiring on July 1. However, Traore has frequently cited the severe security situation as a barrier to holding elections.

The recent talks included representatives from civil society, security and defense forces, and members of the transitional assembly. However, most political parties chose to boycott the discussions, highlighting the ongoing political tension and division within the country.

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