from ISSOUF TRAORE in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso Bureau
OUAGADOUGOU, (CAJ News) – THE military responsible for the coup in Burkina Faso has been urged to fulfill a pledge to uphold human rights.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the military must prioritise the dignified treatment of those in detention, guarantee that journalists and activists can work freely, and ensure that counter-terrorism operations are carried out with respect for fundamental rights.
Corinne Dufka , Sahel director at HRW, note the military coup in Burkina Faso was perpetrated in a country with fragile democratic institutions, amid brutal armed conflict and a growing humanitarian crisis.
“The military authorities now in charge should act urgently to protect the rights of the population, and ensure that the already bad human rights situation does not worsen,” Dufka said.
After the coup on January 24, the military, under the guise of the Patriotic Movement for Safeguarding and Restoration (MPSR), led by Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, pledged to uphold human rights.
A spokesperson for the MPSR, declared that elections would be organised “within a reasonable time.”
“The commitments made by Burkina Faso at the international level, in particular those relating to human rights will be respected,” the official stated.
Last Monday, mid-ranking army officers, challenging the government’s response to an Islamist insurgency and insufficient support for soldiers, orchestrated a coup against 64-year-old President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré.
He had been re-elected for a second term in 2020.
Burkina Faso is on the throes of an Islamist insurgency.
Since 2016, the armed groups and security forces as well pro-government militias have been blamed for the deaths of several thousands of people, pushing more than 1,5 million people to flee their homes.
The West African nation of 21,8 million people has suffered volatility since independence from France in 1960.
– CAJ News