Burkina Faso coup chief Ibrahim Traore named transitional president

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Simply two weeks in the past, 34-year-old Ibrahim Traore was unknown, even in his native Burkina Faso.

However within the area of a weekend, he catapulted himself from military captain to the world's youngest chief — an ascent that has stoked hopes but in addition fears for a poor and chronically troubled nation.

Traore, on the head of a core of disgruntled junior officers, ousted Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, who had seized energy simply in January.

The motive for the most recent coup — as in January — was anger at failures to stem a seven-year jihadist insurgency that has claimed hundreds of lives and pushed almost two million folks from their properties.

A number of days after the September 30 coup, Traore was declared president and "guarantor of national independence, territorial integrity… and continuity of the State."

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At that lofty second, Traore grew to become the world's youngest chief, wresting the title from Chilean President Gabriel Boric, a complete two years older.

And on Friday, a nationwide discussion board made up of about 300 delegates named Traore interim president till elections are held in July 2024, two members of the ruling junta informed AFP.

Traore's beforehand unknown face is now plastered on portraits across the capital Ouagadougou.

His picture is even on sale in the primary market, alongside portraits of Burkina's revered radical chief Thomas Sankara, assassinated in 1987, and of Jesus.

Navy profession

Traore was born in Bondokuy, in western Burkina Faso, and studied geology in Ouagadougou earlier than becoming a member of the military in 2010.

He graduated as an officer from the Georges Namonao Navy College — a second-tier establishment in comparison with the distinguished Kadiogo Navy Academy (PMK) of which Damiba and others within the elite are alumni.

Traore emerged second in his class, a up to date informed AFP, describing him as "disciplined and brave."

After commencement, he gained years of expertise within the struggle towards the jihadists.

He served within the badly-hit north and centre of the nation earlier than heading to a posting in neighbouring Mali in 2018 within the UN's MINUSMA peacekeeping mission.

He was appointed captain in 2020.

A former superior officer, talking on situation of anonymity, recounted an incident that occurred in 2020 when the city of Barsalogho in central Burkina was on the verge of falling to the jihadists.

The freeway into Barsalogho was believed to have been mined, so Traore led his males on a "commando trek" throughout the countryside, arriving in time to free the city, he mentioned.

When Damiba took energy in January, ousting elected president Roch Marc Christian Kabore, Traore grew to become a member of the Patriotic Motion for Preservation and Restoration (MPSR), because the junta selected to name itself.


In March, Damiba promoted Traore to move of artillery within the Kaya regiment within the centre of the nation.

However it was a transfer that satirically would sow the seeds of Damiba's personal downfall.

The regiment grew to become a cradle of discontent, and Traore, tasked by his colleagues with channelling their frustrations, made a number of journeys to Ouagadougou to plead their case with Damiba.

Disillusionment on the response changed into anger, which seems to have crystallised into resolve to grab energy after an assault on a convoy in northern Burkina final month that left 27 troopers and 10 civilians lifeless.

"Captain Traore symbolises the exasperation of junior officers and the rank and file," mentioned safety marketing consultant Mahamoudou Savadogo.

The brand new president faces a frightening job in regaining the higher hand over the jihadist teams, some affiliated with Al-Qaeda and others with the Islamic State group. They’ve steadily gained floor since they launched their assaults from Mali in 2015.

But Traore has promised to do "within three months" what "should have been done in the past eight months," making a direct criticism of his predecessor.

Savadogo warned that one soldier overthrowing one other illustrates "the deteriorating state of the army, which hardly exists any more and which has just torn itself apart with this umpteenth coup d'etat".

Traore's takeover comes throughout a battle for affect between France and Russia in French-speaking Africa, the place former French colonies are more and more turning to Moscow.

Demonstrators who rallied for him in Ouagadougou throughout the standoff with Damiba waved Russian flags and chanted anti-France slogans.

Traore appears — for now — to deliver hope to many in a rustic sinking steadily within the quagmire.

"He embodies renewal, a generational renewal, a break with old practices," mentioned Monique Yeli Kam, who got here to the nationwide discussion board representing her get together, the Motion for Burkina's Renaissance, as a way to "support and defend the vision of national unity".


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