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Captain Ibrahim Traoré, mastermind behind Burkina Faso’s latest coup, has been appointed head of state and commander-in-chief of the national armed forces, according to a statement read Wednesday night.
Captain Ibrahim Traoré, author of a coup in Burkina Faso that has seen two coups in eight months, was formally inaugurated as the country’s president on Wednesday, October 5, according to a statement titled Fundamental Act released in the national was read out on television.
“The President of the Patriotic Movement for Protection and Restoration (MPSR) exercises the functions of Head of State, Supreme Head of the National Armed Forces,” reads the Basic Law, which completes the Constitution of Burkina “subject to the adoption of a transitional charter”.
This statement was read by Captain Kiswendsida Farouk Azaria Sorgho, spokesman for the MPSR, the ruling junta, during a special on national television.
Captain Traoré assured on RFI radio on Monday that he would only advance “current affairs” pending the appointment of a new civilian or military interim president by “National Assizes” that will bring together the political, social and civil society forces necessary to meet according to him “well before the end of the year”.
On September 30, he overthrew Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, who himself violently seized power in January 2022 by overthrowing President-elect Roch Marc Christian Kaboré.
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The law passed on Wednesday stipulates that the MPSR, while “waiting for the establishment of the transitional bodies”, “is the guarantor of national independence, territorial integrity, permanence and continuity of the state, respect for international treaties and agreements, Burkina Faso is subject to a celebration”. The constitution suspended after the coup has been restored and applies to the Basic Law “except for provisions to the contrary”.
The youngest head of state in the world
Ibrahim Traoré, 34, will become the youngest head of state in the world, ahead of Chilean Gabriel Boric, 36. He takes over as head of state in a state devastated by war since 2015 and partly justifies his coup by blaming his predecessor Damiba for the “continuous deterioration of the security situation”.
Regular attacks by armed groups linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) group have killed thousands and displaced some two million people. Much of the territory is beyond state control, particularly on the side of the borders with Mali and Niger.