Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, at the head of Burkina Faso since 2015, was arrested Monday by mutinous soldiers for not having been able to prevent the descent into hell of his country undermined by jihadist violence.
In 2015, a year after the fall of Blaise Compaoré, overthrown by a popular insurrection after 27 years in power, the election of Roch Kaboré raised great hopes for development and change in the “land of honest men”.
But it was precisely in 2015 that Burkina Faso, hitherto spared, began to suffer attacks from armed jihadist groups which have only increased over the years.
When he was re-elected for a second term in 2020, the country descended into chaos, attacks by jihadist groups became almost daily and killed hundreds, whole sections of the country escaped the authority of the State and law enforcement seem unable to stem the spiral of violence.
He therefore made the promise during his election campaign that the fight against the jihadists would be his first priority.
But attacks and massacres in the north continue, such as those in the village of Solhan in June 2021 during which at least 132 civilians were killed, or Inata in mid-November of the same year when 57 people died, including 53 gendarmes. .
From then on, demonstrations of anger from populations exasperated by this violence multiplied to denounce the “powerlessness” of power, demonstrations most often repressed by the police.
Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, of the majority Mossi ethnic group, former banker and reputedly consensual man, has failed to honor his promise despite several changes at the head of the army and the government.
His supporters have argued his record, citing the achievements, road infrastructure, health, drinking water, which seem out of step with reality: 1.5 million people have had to flee their homes because of jihadist violence, and thousands of schools had to close.
Son of a minister, a man with left-wing ideals claimed when he started out in politics after studying in France, he took advantage in the 1980s of the accession to power of Thomas Sankara, the father of the Marxist-inspired revolution, to become director of the Banque internationale du Burkina even before its thirtieth anniversary.
After the assassination of Sankara in 1987, he committed himself to the new strong man of Burkina, Blaise Compaoré. The rise was meteoric: several times Minister, Prime Minister, President of the Assembly… He was one of the key figures in the regime.
Considered a probable successor to Compaoré, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré suddenly fell into disgrace in 2012 for obscure reasons. He slammed the door of the ruling party in 2014 at the twilight of the regime – being accused of opportunism by his detractors – and founded his own party, the People’s Movement for Progress (MPP).
A year later, after a transition, he took the reins of Faso, taking his time, going so far as to be nicknamed the “diesel president”. Then his “indolence” in the face of the security threat became another problem, according to his opponents.
He “is a kind of lazy king who multiplies the audiences and listens in his chair without making a decision”, affirmed in 2020 a diplomatic source in Abidjan.