Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba was sworn in as Burkina Faso’s new president on Wednesday, barely over three weeks after leading a coup against the country’s elected leader, Roch Marc Christian Kabore.
Damiba swore to “preserve, respect, uphold and defend the Constitution,” the nation’s laws, and a “fundamental act” of key decisions approved by the junta, which took power on January 24. Damiba was dressed in a camouflage uniform and wore a red beret and sash in the colors of Burkina Faso’s national flag.
The inauguration event, which was carried on television, took place in a small room at the Constitutional Council’s headquarters, where Damiba was constitutionally declared president, head of state, and supreme commander of the country’s armed forces last week.
A minute of silence was conducted throughout the ceremony for the victims of a deadly Islamist insurgency that began in 2015. Damiba paid respect to the Burkinabe people, who have been bearing the scars of terrorism for more than six yearsvand asked for collective knowledge of the work and sacrifice needed to keep fighting.
Following public outrage over his handling of the insurgency, Damiba led a group of disgruntled officers to drive Kabore out on January 24.
Damiba, the commander of the 3rd Military Region, which encompasses eastern Burkina Faso, one of the worst-affected areas by the conflict, had attacked counter-jihadist measures.
Source: RFI France