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Burkina’s new parliament opens after coup

(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 02, 2022 Burkina Faso’s new self-proclaimed leader captain Ibrahim Traore (C) attends a meeting in Ouagadougou. – Captain Ibrahim Traore was appointed as president of Burkina Faso on October 5, 2022, according to an official statement, after the West African country’s second coup in less than nine months. (Photo by AFP)

Burkina Faso’s new legislative assembly opened on Friday with a call for self-sacrifice by the 71 members appointed by the junta that seized power a month ago.

One of the world’s poorest countries, Burkina has been struggling with a jihadist offensive since 2015.

Disgruntled army officers have carried out two coups this year in a show of anger at failures to roll back the insurgency.

Coup leader Captain Ibrahim Traore named 20 of the new deputies and the armed forces 16. The country’s 13 regions selected one member each, civil society groups 12 and political parties 10.

A dozen members of the last parliament were among those appointed, including Abdoulaye Soma, who ran for president in 2020, and 41-year-old law professor Ousmane Bougouma, who was elected speaker on Friday.

“Our country, Burkina Faso, is living through difficult times in its history,” Bougouma told the assembly.

“It’s not a time for celebration but rather commitment and self-sacrifice.”

The assembly opened after agreement in mid-October on a transitional charter to help guide the Sahel nation back to elections.

Traore, 34, ousted Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba on September 30.

In January, Damiba had led a group of officers to topple the last elected president, Roch Marc Christian Kabore.

Traore has been appointed transitional president with the declared aim of taking pack huge swathes of territory held by “hordes of terrorists”.

Thousands have been killed in Burkina over the last seven years, around two million people out of a population of 21 million have fled their homes and more than a third of the country is outside government control.


© Agence France-Presse

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