Guinea-Bissau President Umaro Sissoco Embalo, current president of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), visited Ouagadougou on Wednesday in a bid to offer his “support” to Burkina Faso in the face of jihadist violence..
Mr. Embalo met with Captain Ibrahim Traoré, the transitional president who took power on September 30, 2022 in a coup, the second in eight months in Burkina.
At the end of the meeting, “the current president of ECOWAS, who was reassured of the good conduct of the transition, reaffirmed the availability of the West African organization to support and accompany Burkina Faso in the fight against terrorism,” said a statement from the Presidency of Burkina Faso.
Mr. Embalo “stressed the need to continue discussions with the heads of state of ECOWAS, and also with the various partners, to provide support as soon as possible to our country which is facing security and humanitarian challenges,” the text added.
Having come to power after the overthrow of Lieutenant-Colonel Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba, Captain Traoré promised to respect the commitments made by his predecessor to ECOWAS on the organization of elections and a return of civilians to power by July 2024.
Burkina Faso has faced increasing attacks by jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State since 2015. They have left thousands dead and at least two million displaced and are partly responsible for two military coups in 2022.