Burkina Faso’s newest military coup

According to the media, Burkina Faso’s neighbors have condemned the newest military coup and termed it inappropriate for army rebels to seize power when the country was working toward civilian rule. According to the details, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the African Union (AU) said that ousting of the incumbent military leader was unconstitutional. According to the reports, a 34-year-old Army Captain Ibrahim Traore announced the suspension of the government on Burkina Faso national TV and told the nation that the Army has kicked out former Military dictator Lt Col Paul Henri Damiba and seized power. He also announced the closure of borders, the imposition of a curfew, and a halt to all political activities in the country. The Army accused the former ruler of the inability to deal with Islamist insurgency and vowed to drive all stakeholders together to appoint a new civilian or military President soon.

Burkina Faso, a landlocked nation in West Africa had hit by the worst political instability and economic crises due to massive corruption, droughts, famine, armed militancy, and recurrent military coups over the past decades. The famine and insurgency-hit nation had been conquered by military juntas twice during the current year. Earlier, Lt Col Paul Damiba ousted the democratically elected President Roch Marc Kabore and seized power in January 2022. The former dictator accused the elected government of failing to tackle the jihadist insurgency and vowed to deal with the threat with an iron hand. Almost after eight months, another group of Army officers took over the government on the same pretext and claim to overcome the situation.

Historically, the Islamist insurgency erupted in Burkina Faso in 2015 and several Al-Qaeda and ISIS-linked radical groups got control over 40% landmass of the West African nation. The armed violence killed thousands and displaced millions of people in the Sahel region while Burkina Faso is one of the most affected regions in the African continent. Burkina’s military comprises 6000 insufficiently trained and poorly equipped soldiers. While this tiny regiment is unfamiliar with fighting skills but well-versed with the tact of sabotaging democracy and successfully invaded the nation for consecutive eight times in the past decades.

The global community including the UN, the US, and the African Union have categorically condemned the military coup and urged the military junta to peacefully transfer the power to the civilian leaders and return to the barracks. Previously, the ECOWAS has asked Burkina’s former military ruler to restore democracy by July 2023, while the current military expedition has further pushed the nation away from its destination.

Surprisingly, many in Burkina Faso welcomed the military coup because the public perceive that Col Damiba failed to defeat Islamist groups whose barbaric activities have intensified in recent days. Seemingly, the new military junta is also incompetent to control violence in terror-hit areas. In fact, the western African militaries have been addicted to royal life because, after Mali, Guinea, Chad, and Sudan, Burkina Faso is another nation where dictators invaded democracy. If African military Commanders are really loyal to their nations they should have gone to the battlefield to defeat the enemy instead they invaded the parliaments, which is treason instead of service to the nation. Burkina’s Soldiers must learn from history and relinquish the power as early as possible otherwise next rebellious episode will be repeated with changed characters very soon.