Monday, 1 February 2016

A rare example to leaders tempted by lifelong rule

A rare example to leaders tempted by lifelong ruleThrilled citizens poured into the streets of Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, on Nov. 29 to celebrate their country’s first free and fair election. Burkina Faso’s new president, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, who won a clear majority of votes in a field of 14 candidates, sworn to get to work immediately “to open up the opportunities for a better tomorrow.”  

The inauguration of Burkina Faso’s new president marks a significant development for the whole sub- Saharan Sahel region on the path away from tension and disputed elections, United Nations Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon has said, also praising the opposition for their quick acceptance of the election results.   “The successful completion of elections in Burkina Faso is a significant development not only for the country but also for the Sahel region, where socioeconomic hardship and contested electoral processes continue to be a source of tension, and at a time when terrorist groups, illicit trafficking and irregular migration continue to threaten regional security,” he stressed in a congratulatory message to President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré.  

Mr. Kaboré’s inauguration completes the transition following the end last year of the 27-year rule of a former president, Blaise Compaoré, who resigned after thousands of protesters took to the streets of Ouagadougou, the capital, amidst deucedly violence that involved the ransacking of Government buildings and the state television headquarters.   The UN will also continue to work faithfully with regional organizations such as the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States and the Lake Chad Basin Commission to help the Sahel tackle the root causes of uncertainty with regard to security, governance and resilient livelihoods.  

Burkina Faso, a small country, plays an outsized security role as an ally of the United States and France in counterterrorism efforts against jihadist groups operating in the region, notably in neighboring Mali. Burkina Faso’s extraordinarily efficacious election also provides a rare example to other leaders in Africa tempted by lifelong rule: The leaders of Burundi and the Republic of Congo changed or defied their Constitutions this year to allow themselves to continue in office.  

Recently the president named economist Paul Kaba Thieba as prime minister. Thieba, who has little political experience, is charged with forming President Roch Marc Kabore's government as the country continues with a democratic transition after 27 years. Thieba, 56, worked for many years as an economist for the West African central bank, BCEAO, in Ivory Coast.   Kabore has said the government needs to mend access to water, healthcare and education. It must also make subtle political decisions after authorities under the interim government charged a prominent general with the murder of a previous president and issued an international arrest warrant for Compaore who fled after being toppled from power. Read More.....

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