In Burkina Faso, demonstration in Ouagadougou against a West African visit

brandishing Russian flags and shouting slogans to the glory of Moscow, the protesters displayed their hostility to ECOWAS and France.

Le Monde with AFP

Several dozen people demonstrated Tuesday October 4 in Ouagadougou against the visit of a West African delegation that came to assess the situation in Burkina Faso a few days after a second coup in eight months.

brandishing Russian flags and shouting slogans to the glory of Moscow, the demonstrators displayed their hostility to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and France, a journalist of the ‘AFP. “No to the interference of ECOWAS”, “France emanates”, “Together let’s say no to France” or “Long live the Russia-Burkina cooperation”, could we hear from the demonstrators gathered on the avenue leading to the Burkinabé presidency.

The ECOWAS delegation arrived on Tuesday morning and was to go to the presidency to meet the new strong man in the country, Captain Ibrahim Traoré, learned AFP from official Burkinabé source.

“This mission is a contact with the new transition authorities in the context of support from which our country benefits” from its West African neighbors, said Captain Traoré, who Tilled on Friday, October 30, Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba on Friday, October 30, himself arrived in power during a putsch in January. 2> “Call to calm” and “restraint”

Ibrahim Traoré took the opportunity to prevent anti-Cedeao demonstrators that “anyone who will undertake acts likely to disturb the smooth running of the ECOWAS mission will be applied the rigor of the law”. Regretting “the circulation of messages calling for the smooth running of this mission”, he renewed “his call for calm” and “restraint”.

Before the demonstration on Tuesday morning, small groups had drawn up dams in the center of Ouagadougou to protest against the arrival of the delegation, and messages calling for hindering his visit were posted on social networks. During the weekend, diplomatic buildings and representing the interests of France had been taken to task by demonstrators favorable to Captain Traoré.

After having initially opposed his dismissal, Lieutenant-Colonel Damiba had finally agreed to resign on Sunday and go to Lomé. At the end of last week, demonstrators who claimed the departure of Mr. Damiba, accused of having been protected by Paris, had already brandished Russian flags, requesting a strengthening of military cooperation with Moscow. Russian influence continues to grow in several French-speaking African countries, particularly in Mali and in the Central African Republic.

ECOWAS is regularly accused by its opponents of systematically defending the leaders in place without taking into account popular aspirations, and some of its leaders to be subservient to the old French colonial power.

” Degradation of the security situation “

The ECOWAS delegation in Ouagadougou is led by Minister Bissau-Guinean of Foreign Affairs, Suzi Carla Barbosa, whose country presidency of the organization, and notably includes the former Nigerian president Mahamadou Issoufou, mediator for Burkina Faso.

She comes to assess the situation in Burkina Faso after the departure of Mr. Damiba, to whom Captain Traoré reproached in particular “the continuous degradation of the security situation” in a country undermined by jihadist violence and where bloody attacks against civilians and soldiers have multiplied in recent months.

Since 2015, regular attacks on armed movements affiliated with Al-Qaida and the Islamic State group have killed thousands of people and caused the movement of some 2 million people. Captain Traoré promised to respect the commitments made by his predecessor with regard to ECOWAS on the organization of elections and a return of civilians in power at the latest in July 2024.

/Media reports.