Burkina Faso National Conference approves 3-year Military-led rule

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A national conference in Burkina Faso has approved that the ruling junta should hold power for three years, potentially setting the West African country on a collision course with international partners who have urged a speedy return to constitutional order.

It should be recalled that the junta seized power in a January coup against President Roch Kabore, blaming him for failing to contain surging violence by Islamist militants. The coup was led by Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba, who is now interim president.

The charter was approved by the conference and signed by Damiba in the early hours of Tuesday after a day-long debate in the capital Ouagadougou. It will establish a transitional government made up of 25 ministers and a 71-member parliament.

The 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which has imposed strict sanctions against other regional countries in response to military coups, did not respond to a request for comment about whether it found the three-year transitional period acceptable.

A commission that drafted the charter had proposed a two-and-a-half year transition, saying the junta needed around two years to stabilise the country and organise elections. The national conference extended it to three years.