Burkina Faso Coup d’État Sparks Political Crisis

Photo Credit: CIF Action

By Clarissa Monet Brown
Contributing Writer

The West African nation of Burkina Faso is currently facing political instability after a successful military coup ousted President Roch Kaboré on Sunday, January 23. After months of political unrest resulting from widespread dissatisfaction with President Kaboré’s efforts to quell a surge of Islamist militant attacks, the nation fell into an active gun battle that lasted until early Tuesday. The militant group, led by Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Sandaogo Dambila, demanded the president put an end to military losses and attacks by al-Qaeda and other Islamic State groups. President Kaboré has been detained by the Patriotic Movement for Safeguarding and Restoration and has supposedly submitted his resignation as the leader of Burkina Faso.

This is the latest coup in a string of military uprisings across West Africa in recent months, and has heightened the alarming concern over democratic stability in the region. Many international organizations including the United Nations have denounced the coup, with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reiterating the United Nations’ “…full commitment to the preservation of the constitutional order” in Burkina Faso. The U.S. State Department issued a statement condemning the coup and calling for the reinstatement of President Kaboré. Burkina Faso seemingly has the full support of the United Nations and its member states, but there remains considerable uncertainty and confusion as the country faces yet another challenge to its democratic development. This week’s coup in Burkina Faso is the latest challenge to a region, and a continent, where democracy continues to struggle to gain traction and stability amid widespread political unrest.

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