Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.

Burkina Faso coup-leader defends his military takeover to UN

  • 0
UN General Assembly Burkina Faso

President of Burkina Faso Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, at the U.N. headquarters.

Burkina Faso's coup leader-turned-president defended his military takeover on Friday, though he acknowledged it was “perhaps reprehensible" and inconsistent with the United Nations' values.

Lt. Col. Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba said the overthrow of the democratically elected president in January was "necessary and indispensable."

"It was, above all, an issue of survival for our nation,” he said. That's even if it was “perhaps reprehensible in terms of the principles held dear by the United Nations and the international community as a whole.”

Burkina Faso's coup came in the wake of similar takeovers in Mali and in Guinea, heightening fears of a rollback of democracy in West Africa. None of the juntas has committed to a date for new elections.

Many in Burkina Faso, however, supported the military takeover, frustrated with the previous government’s inability to stem Islamic extremist violence that has killed thousands and displaced at least 2 million.

Yet the violence has failed to wane in the months since Damiba took over. Earlier this month, he also took over the position of defense minister after dismissing a brigadier general from the post.

The Burkina Faso leader said Friday that his transitional government will remain in power for almost two more years despite calls from West African neighbors for a quicker return to democratic rule. But Damiba gave no precise date for the holding of new elections in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly.

He warned, however, that the Islamic insurgency embroiling Burkina Faso has security risks for the rest of the world too emphasizing that Europe “is the closest continent to Africa.”

“No precautions or prevention measures will prevent terrorism from crossing the Atlantic if the Sahel is abandoned,” Damiba said. “Nothing at all will be able to stop the youth in the Sahel countries and its surroundings from giving in to the temptation of perilous immigration to Europe through the Sahara and the Mediterranean if these youth no longer have any hope by staying at home."

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke faced sharp attacks for past dishonesty from his Democratic opponent in a U.S. House race debate in Montana on Thursday night. The Republican sought to downplay recent reports from federal investigators who said he lied to them in two separate cases. Democrat Monica Tranel urged voters to read for themselves the reports from investigators, who concluded Zinke misled officials about his involvement in a casino proposal in Connecticut and a real estate development in his hometown of Whitefish. Libertarian John Lamb says he offers an alternative to the major party candidates.

Listen now and subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | RSS Feed | Omny Studio

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alert

Breaking News