An African Union envoy on Friday urged international support for Burkina Faso’s transition to civilian rule, as the junta-led country battles a jihadist insurgency.
“We demand the support of the international community in Burkina Faso to face all challenges,” including in matters of security, said Bankole Adeoye, the head of the AU’s Peace and Security Council, as he visited Ouagadougou.
Burkina’s ruling junta took power in a January coup that ousted former president Roch Marc Christian Kabore, amid widespread anger at the government’s failure to deal with the jihadist violence that spread across the border from Mali in 2015.
The country’s Western African neighbours have agreed to allow the junta led by Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba two years for its transition back to democracy.
“We have evaluated… the plan for the transition to result in elections,” Adeoye said, as he headed an AU delegation visiting Burkina Faso.
“We all need to work together… to face the security, extremism and crime problems,” he said, referring to the AU and neighbouring countries also fighting jihadism in the Sahel region.
He stressed “the need to ensure a good credible, transparent and fair transition”, and said the AU would increase its support when it noted “clear steps towards improvement”.
The junta has proposed a constitutional referendum in December 2024 and legislative and presidential elections in February 2025.
The jihadist insurgency in the landlocked Sahel state has claimed more than 2,000 lives and forced some 1.9 million people to flee their homes.
The government does not have control over more than 40 percent of the country’s territory, according to official data.