Burkina Faso’s interim president approves new government after January coup

An official decree showed on Saturday that Burkina Faso’s interim president Paul Henri Damiba has approved a new government that includes the same defense minister who served under former President Roch Kabore before he was ousted in a military coup.

Dameba was installed on Wednesday as interim chief for three years, after leading a group of officers to oust Kabore in January. They said they were motivated by frustration at the escalation of violence by Islamist militants.

The new cabinet of 25 ministers includes Defense Minister General Barthelemy Sempor, who retained the position he held under Kaboré, according to the decree.

On Thursday, it was announced that economist Albert Ouedraogo had been appointed as the transitional prime minister of the West African country.

The military coup in Burkina Faso was West Africa’s fourth in 18 months, after two in Mali and one in Guinea, following a period of democracy that had raised hopes that the region would shed its reputation as the continent’s “coup belt”.

The new authorities will have to try to contain the violent Islamist insurgency that has engulfed vast swathes of Burkina Faso’s territory and drained scarce national resources.


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