Burkina Faso’s Extended Transition: A Step Forward or Just More of the Same?


Burkina Faso’s Extended Transition: Military leader Traore signs 5-year extension, delaying promised democratic elections. Economic and security challenges persist, raising concerns about genuine democratic progress. International scrutiny intensifies.

In a significant yet controversial move, Burkina Faso’s military leader, Capt. Ibrahim Traore, has solidified his hold on power by signing a new charter. This charter, ratified following a national consultation, allows him to remain in office for an additional five years before transitioning to a civilian government. The event took place at a transitional assembly in Ouagadougou, attended by civil society representatives, security and defense forces, and lawmakers, although notably boycotted by most political parties.

“The duration of the transition is fixed at 60 months from July 2, 2024,” declared Col. Moussa Diallo, chairman of the national dialogue process organizing committee, in his address post-talks. This extension contradicts the junta’s earlier commitment to hold elections by July 2024.

Burkina Faso, one of the world’s least developed nations, has experienced a turbulent political history. The recent military coup in September 2022 ousted Lt. Col. Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba’s regime, just eight months after his own coup removed the democratically elected President Roch Marc Kaboré.

Despite military governance, the country continues to grapple with severe economic and security issues. An alarming half of Burkina Faso’s territory remains beyond governmental control, underlining the persistent instability.

The newly signed charter permits Traore to participate in elections at the end of the transition period. Interestingly, it also leaves room for the possibility of earlier elections, suggesting a faint hope for a swifter return to democracy.

Burkina Faso’s military regime has once again extended its stay in power, pushing back the promised return to democracy by five years. This latest move raises questions about the future stability and governance of the country. Despite repeated pledges for democratic restoration, the realities on the ground suggest otherwise.

This new extension under Capt. Ibrahim Traore could be seen as a strategic consolidation of power rather than a genuine effort towards democratic transition. As Burkina Faso continues to face profound economic and security challenges, the international community watches closely to see if this extension will bring stability or merely perpetuate the cycle of military rule.


  • – Diallo, M. (2024). “The duration of the transition is fixed at 60 months from July 2, 2024.” National Dialogue Process, Ouagadougou.


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