Burkina Faso: Coup Raises Serious Rights Concerns

Disaffected soldiers in Burkina Faso staged a mutiny in the capital, Ouagadougou, that led to the ouster of the former junta leader, Lt. Col. Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba, on September 30, 2022. In a televised statement, a spokesperson for the Patriotic Movement for Safeguarding and Restoration (Mouvement patriotique pour la sauvegarde et la restauration, MPSR) declared that Damiba had been dismissed from his position as president of the Patriotic Movement, stating that he had failed to adequately address the country’s deteriorating security situation. The televised statement named Capt. Ibrahim Traoré as the country’s new president.

The following quote can be attributed to Corinne Dufka, Sahel director at Human Rights Watch:

“Burkina Faso’s second military coup in 2022 heightens concerns for the country’s human rights situation. Armed Islamist groups control vast swaths of the country and millions of Burkinabé are internally displaced, lacking access to food and basic government services. The new military junta should prioritize the humane treatment of people in custody, respect freedoms of the media and rights defenders, and ensure that military operations abide by the laws of war. The authorities should also promptly transition to civilian democratic rule, so that Burkinabé can vote in free and fair elections for the leaders of their choice.”