|Lt.-Col. Yacouba Isaac Zida will lead Burkina Faso through a “period of transition,” it was announced Nov. 1, 2014. The “form and duration” of that transition “will be determined later,” the army said. (Joe Penney/Reuters)
The attempt by the former Burkina President, Blaise Campaore, to amend Article 37 of the Constitution to allow him to stand in the 2015 general election after 27 years in power took a turn for the worse in the morning of Thursday 30th October when over a million Burkinabes stormed the National Parliament destroying it.
There were several other protests in and out of the capital Ouagadougou. The massive protests of the Burkina people forced President Blaise Compaore to quickly cede power and escape with his family to Cote d’Ivoire.
Since then, there has been a number of announcements by military officers that they have assumed the leadership of the country and made promises about the establishment of a broad-based transitional government that will conduct state affairs until elections are held within a year.
The Burkinabe uprising against the Compaore’s dictatorship was people-driven engagement conducted and led by civil society and opposition political parties. The military cannot and should not be allowed to sieze power in a context in which they played no role in the evolution of people’s power leading to the ouster of the Compaore regime.
Indeed, many of the leaders of the military have been core players in the Compaore dictatorship.
The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) strongly supports the position of Burkinabe civil society and opposition parties that the military should remain in the barracks and that the “forces vives de la Nation” which prepared and led the insurrection at the cost of many lives should appoint an interim government which would immediately organise elections for a new government.
CDD also wishes to draw attention to the fact that both the African Union Charter on Democracy, Elections and Good Governance and Economic Community of West African States Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance completely reject any form of unconstitutional change of government along the lines proposed by the Burkinabe military. Africa has turned its back on military rule.
The Centre for Democracy and Development also wishes to draw attention to the fact that the attempt by Blaise Compaore to extend his mandate beyond 2015 is sadly becoming common place in Africa. Already, a number of African leaders have amended their country’s national constitution to extend their tenure against the wishes of the people.
This has happened in Algeria, Cameroon, Chad, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Togo, Uganda and Zimbabwe. The development in Burkina Faso is a reminder to sit-tight African leaders that people’s power is today a potent force capable of throwing out dictators from power.
The Centre for Democracy and Development:
Calls on the military junta led by Lieutenant Colonel Yacouba Isaac Zida to immediately hand over power to a civilian transitional government;
Commends the opposition parties and civil society in Burkina Faso for the principled position to prevent the usurpation of a popular uprising by a military junta. We urge them to be steadfast in their quest to enthrone popular democracy in Burkina Faso;
Calls on the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, and the international community to ensure that civilians are allowed to determine the future of the country while the military maintains their constitutional role of safeguarding the territorial integrity of Burkina Faso.
Get more stuff like this
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.