African Union suspends Burkina Faso following recent coup

The junta has dissolved the government and parliament and suspended the constitution.


The African Union on Monday suspended Burkina Faso a week after the volatile country suffered its latest coup, as envoys from West Africa and the UN headed for talks with the new junta.

The AU’s 15-member Peace and Security Council said on Twitter it had voted “to suspend the participation of #BurkinaFaso in all AU activities until the effective restoration of constitutional order in the country”. The move came three days after the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) suspended Burkina from its ranks and warned of possible sanctions pending the outcome of meetings with the junta.

Ghanaian Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchway

An ECOWAS mission headed by Ghanaian Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchway was expected in Ouagadougou, where it would be joined by the UN’s special representative for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mahamat Saleh Annadif.

“The joint delegation will have meetings with the military leaders as well as with the various Burkinabe actors,” UNOWAS said in a statement.

On Saturday, ECOWAS sent military chiefs to confer with junta leader Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba. 

The junta “reaffirmed its commitment to sub-regional and international organisations”, it said in a statement.

ECOWAS leaders will hold a summit in Accra on Thursday to assess the two missions to see whether they should impose sanctions.

They have previously suspended and enforced sanctions against two other members, Mali and Guinea, where coups have unfurled in the past 18 months.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, who chairs the AU’s Commission, had already condemned the coup on the day it happened.

Troubled country

Burkina Faso president Roch Marc Christian Kabore

On January 24, rebel soldiers detained president Roch Marc Christian Kabore amid rising public anger at his failure to stem jihadist violence ravaging the impoverished nation. They later released a handwritten letter in which he announced his resignation, a document that a member of his party said was authentic.

The junta has dissolved the government and parliament and suspended the constitution, vowing to re-establish “constitutional order” within a “reasonable time”.

The coup is the latest bout of turmoil to strike Burkina Faso, a landlocked state that has suffered chronic instability since gaining independence from France in 1960.

Kabore was elected in 2015 following a popular revolt that forced out strongman Blaise Compaore. Compaore himself had seized power in 1987 during a coup in which the country’s revolutionary leader, Thomas Sankara, was gunned down. He was re-elected in 2020, but the following year faced a wave of anger over his handling of a jihadist insurgency that has swept in from neighbouring Mali.

Since 2015, more than 2,000 people have died, according to an AFP toll, while the country’s emergency agency says a million and a half people, in a population of 21 million, have fled their homes.

In this article

East Africa Premier News Source with Top Stories, Special Features and more.
Uncensored & Undaunted