ECOWAS ‘confident’ after meeting Burkina Faso leader

FILE PHOTO: Flags of ECOWAS member countries. /Getty Images
Burkina Faso’s new military leader Ibrahim Traore is escorted by soldiers in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso October 2, 2022. REUTERS/Vincent Bado/File Photo

The mediator sent to Burkina Faso by West Africa’s main political and economic bloc ECOWAS, Mahamadou Issoufou, on Tuesday said he was satisfied by a meeting with the country’s new military leader Ibrahim Traore.

Issoufou added that the 15-member bloc would continue monitoring Burkina Faso’s transition to constitutional rule after the country was hit by its second military takeover this year.

ECOWAS has repeatedly urged the junta that took control on Friday to respect a timetable agreed with their predecessors to return to constitutional rule by July 2024.

“We had very profound exchanges. Very frank exchanges,” Issoufou told reporters after meeting religious leaders and Traore in the capital, Ouagadougou.

“I can assure you that ECOWAS will remain with the people of Burkina Faso … and the difficult challenge they face,” he added.

Former Niger president Mahamadou Issoufou, who was part of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)’s delegation as a mediator, said they would stand by Burkinabè people in the very difficult ordeal they were going through..

Since 2015, Burkina Faso has been the target of regular attacks by armed groups affiliated with al-Qaeda and the islamic state.

Thousands have died in the attacks and some two million people have been displaced.