Burkina Faso’s new military leader Lt.-Col. Paul-Henri Damiba has declared that the West African country would return to constitutional order when conditions are right.
Damiba spoke for the first time on national television since leading a mutiny that ousted President Roch Marc Kabore on Monday.
“When the conditions are right, according to the deadline that our people will define in all sovereignty, I commit to a return to a normal constitutional order,” Damiba said.
Adorned in a red beret, army fatigues, and flanked by national flags, Damiba said he would convene various sections of Burkina Faso’s society to agree on a roadmap to plan and carry out needed reforms.
The junta said on Monday after seizing power that it would propose a calendar for a return to constitutional order “within a reasonable time frame” but has not elaborated on its plans.
The officers, who call themselves the Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration (MPSR), launched a mutiny on Sunday night and removed Kabore on Monday, blaming him for failing to contain worsening violence by Islamist militants.
The lieutenant colonel promised farmers and herders and people across the West African Sahel nation affected by violence from militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State and said he would take back control of those zones.
Damiba’s speech came before a planned emergency summit of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Friday to discuss responding to the coup.
The west African body had imposed sanctions on Burkina Faso’s neighbour Mali and Guinea following military takeovers in August 2020 and September 2021, respectively.