Burkina Faso junta leader meets ousted former president to address ‘security issues’

Burkina Faso junta leader meets ousted former president to address 'security issues'

Burkina Faso creates two “zones of military interest” and prohibits the presence of civilians in them

June 22 (EUROPA PRESS) –

The leader of Burkina Faso’s military junta, Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, held a meeting on Tuesday with former president Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, whom he overthrew in a January coup to address “security issues” and the process of transition, amid increased attacks by jihadist groups.

The meeting, in which former president Jean-Baptiste Ouédraogo also participated, also addressed “other matters of national interest”, as revealed by the Communication Directorate of the Burkina Faso Presidency in a statement published on its page on the social network Facebook, without give more details.

“The meeting between these three personalities bears witness to the Head of State’s desire for reconciliation, for a united, determined and supportive Burkina Faso in the fight against the terrorist hydra”, he stressed, before emphasizing that it is also “a materialization of the call for national unity and social cohesion” launched by Damiba himself.

In this sense, he pointed out that “the hearing is the beginning of a series of actions planned by the Head of State to reduce tensions around the political situation and favor the participation of all the daughters and sons of Burkina Faso in the work of national refoundation”.

The meeting took place hours after the Burkina Faso authorities announced the creation of a “patriotic defense brigade” that will unite all the “volunteers” recruited to combat terrorism, as well as the creation of two “zones of military interest” in the north and east of the country.

Thus, the area in the east of the country covers the provinces of Tapoa, Kompienga, Komondjari and Gourma, while the area in the north covers the province of Soum. “Any human presence or activity is prohibited in these areas, at the risk of being exposed to the effects of the military operations that will be carried out,” the authorities warned.

In this sense, the Burkina Faso Presidency indicated in a statement after the meeting of the Higher National Defense Council that “the resident populations (in these special zones) will be given a period to move to other safer areas.”

Burkina Faso, led by a military junta since the aforementioned coup, has generally experienced a significant increase in insecurity since 2015, which has caused a wave of internally displaced persons and refugees to other countries in the region.

The attacks, the work of both the affiliate of Al Qaeda and that of the Islamic State in the region, have also contributed to increasing inter-community violence and have caused self-defense groups to flourish, to which the Burkinabe government has added ‘volunteers ‘ to help in the fight against terrorism.

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