Burkina Faso’s Activists Take a Wait-and-See Approach to the Junta

Burkina Faso’s Activists Take a Wait-and-See Approach to the Junta
Customers watch Lt. Col. Henri Sandaogo Damiba address the nation on national television in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Jan. 27, 2022 (AP photo by Sophie Garcia).

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso—In 2014, Arouna Loure, a Burkinabe activist, anesthesiologist and leader of the grassroots political group Les Revoltes, took to the streets, risking his life in a popular uprising against the government of then-President Blaise Compaore. Having seized power in a military coup in 1987, Compaore ruled the country in a semi-authoritarian manner for 27 years, before being subsequently driven from power by the popular mobilization in which Loure participated.

After a transitional period, Roch Marc Christian Kabore was elected president, becoming the first person to hold the office who did not have ties to the military. He later won reelection in 2020 by a large majority.

Yet, in 2022, Loure once again participated in demonstrations, this time to overthrow Kabore’s democratically elected government. And when a military junta subsequently did so in late January, Loure ultimately supported it.

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