7, March 2022
Burkina Faso’s interim president, Paul-Henri Damiba, has approved a new government, retaining the defense minister who served in the Roch Kabore government before his ouster in a January coup.
Damiba was sworn in on Wednesday as the transitional president for three years, almost two months after spearheading a coup against Kabore.
According to an official decree, the 25-member new cabinet includes General Barthelemy Simpore, the former defense minister, who has surprisingly retained his position.
The appointment of economist Albert Ouedraogo as the West African nation’s transitional prime minister was announced on Thursday.
Burkina Faso’s military coup was the fourth in West Africa in less than two years, following two in Mali and one in Guinea, reaffirming the region’s reputation as the ‘coup belt.’
Last week, the country adopted a transitional charter that would allow the junta to lead a three-year transition period.
A “national forum” of political parties, trade unions, and grassroots groups approved the charter after a day-long debate in the capital, Ouagadougou.
The charter was later signed by junta leader, Lieutenant Colonel Henri-Paul Damiba, last Tuesday.
Damiba has had first-hand experience of the insurgency by Takfiri terrorists.
He was commander of the 3rd Military Region, before seizing power, which covers eastern Burkina Faso – one of the worst-hit areas.
A military official, speaking after the coup, described Damiba as “a tough commander who has been on the front line with his men”.
In late January, Burkina Faso was suspended from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU) to pressure the country to return to constitutional order.
Burkina Faso, one of the world’s poorest countries, has been under relentless attack from Takfiri groups linked to al-Qaeda and Daesh that seek control of its natural resources.