Junta Sets Plan for ‘Stabilizing’ Jihadist-Hit Burkina

Burkina Faso’s four-month-old military junta has set down a blueprint for “stabilizing” the jihadist-torn country and enable the return to civilian rule, according to the plan seen by AFP on Thursday.

The country’s military-dominated government adopted a 188-page document called Action Plan for Stabilisation and Development.

It sets out a four-pronged strategy comprising the fight against “terrorism,” tackling the country’s humanitarian crisis, reform of the state, and national reconciliation.

A landlocked country lying in the heart of West Africa’s Sahel, Burkina Faso is one of the world’s most volatile and impoverished countries.

It has been struggling with a jihadist insurgency that swept in from neighboring Mali in 2015.

Thousands of civilians, troops, and police have been killed, more than two million people have fled their homes and around 40 percent of the country lies outside the government’s control.

Anger within the military at the mounting toll sparked two coups in 2022, the most recent of which was on September 30, when a 34-year-old captain, Ibrahim Traore, seized power.

He is standing by a pledge made by the preceding junta to stage elections for a civilian government by 2024.

The new plan sets down deadlines for progressively restoring security and bringing back state services in jihadist-controlled areas and thus “lower the overall insecurity index.”

To achieve this, the plan calls among other things for action to cut off sources of supply for the jihadists.

This would include monitoring of sales of motorbikes, which the Islamists use for hit-and-run attacks, as well as informal money networks.

By 2025, half of the country’s displaced population will have returned home, the scheme says.

The plan also calls for efforts to discourage jihadist recruitment of young people, including awareness campaigns about civic duty and their role in “the fight against terrorism.”

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