The international delegation on a mediation mission in Burkina Faso has sent positive messages from its meeting with Burkinabe soldiers a few days after a coup against President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré.
“The discussions were very frank. They seemed very open to the suggestions and proposals made to them. This is a good sign for us,” Ghana’s Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey told reporters.
The Ghanaian minister who is leading the international delegation to Burkina Faso spoke after her meeting with the new head of state, Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, as well as with members of the military junta.
Military forces in Burkina Faso took power a week ago and since then several organizations have sanctioned the country by withdrawing it or freezing its membership. This is the case of the Community of West African States (ECOWAS) from which Burkina was suspended on Friday and of the African Union (AU) on Monday “until the effective restoration of constitutional order in the countries”, such as neighboring Mali and Guinea, where the military has also taken power.
A summit of ECOWAS heads of state is to be held in Accra on Thursday to decide on possible additional sanctions against Burkina, as was the case a few days earlier against Mali.
However, members of the Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the UN were part of the delegation that met with representatives of the military junta.
“We had very frank, very open discussions. I think we understood each other well, we had very good discussions with the Head of State. What I noted is their availability to work with ECOWAS, this is an important point,” said Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, chairman of the commission of the West African organization.
For his part, Annadif Mahamat Saleh, UN special representative for West Africa and the Sahel (Unowas), spoke of a “very frank exchange” during discussions with the military in power for a week. .
In addition, “part of the delegation went to see former President Kaboré where he is” under house arrest in a villa in Ouagadougou, said a member of this joint ECOWAS-UN mission.
The Burkinabe president overthrown by the putschists is physically fine according to relatives, but his mental state after this unexpected overthrow and his placement under surveillance is not known at the moment. No statement on his part has been made since last Monday.
In the aftermath of the coup, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called on Tuesday for the “immediate release” of the Burkinabe president, but he still remains under house arrest by the military.