National Transition Forum Commences in Burkina Faso Amid Political Tensions

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The National Forum, which will determine the future course of Burkina Faso’s transition, begins this Saturday. Representatives from various socio-professional sectors are gathering to assess the transition’s progress since Captain Ibrahim Traoré assumed power on September 30th, 2022.

The forum’s decisions will shape the process set to conclude on July 1. This critical meeting occurs against a backdrop of political tensions, with major political coalitions setting conditions for their participation.

Challenges abound, as political parties grapple with assembling delegations while their activities remain banned by the ruling junta. The last-minute invitation, issued only 24 hours before the registration deadline, further complicates matters. Parties and civil society organizations question the agenda and terms of reference for the discussions.

Yoporeka Somet, spokesperson for the political movement Sens, expresses skepticism about the forum’s legitimacy. He asserts that the meeting will consist solely of individuals handpicked by the MPSR to echo its views, calling it a “hypocrisy” that Sens will not endorse.

Similarly, the Front for the Defense of the Republic urges a boycott. Spokesperson Inoussa Ouedraogo criticizes the forum as a mere pretext to extend the dictatorship and subjugate the Burkinabé people to President Traoré’s regime.

Trade unions and numerous civil society organizations also announce their refusal to participate. Only religious and traditional authorities, who facilitated the signing of the transition charter between Colonel Damiba and Captain Traoré in 2022, are expected to attend. This charter mandated that the current transitional president must relinquish power by July.

As the forum unfolds, its ability to navigate these political complexities and forge a consensual path forward remains uncertain.


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