4 February 2015 – The United Nations’ top political official said today that Burkina Faso’s transitional institutions must continue to respect the aspirations of the Burkinabe people and ensure full respect for human rights and the physical integrity of all citizens.
We all know that transitions are difficult; all transitions are fragile; there is no transition without difficulties,” Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman told journalists in the capital, Ouagadougou, today. “However, the international community will not tolerate any obstacle to the transition. Those who threaten the transition should be aware that the international community is watching and will hold them accountable.”
Mr. Feltman’s visit to Burkina Faso at the request of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-noon and was joined on his visit by Special Representative for West Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas.
Mr. Feltman said that he and Mr. Ibn Chambas met with the transitional authorities and representatives of political parties.
“I commended Michel Kafando, Transitional President of Burkina Faso, and transitional authorities for their determination to put in place a transitional process and organize elections in accordance with the timeline set out in the Transition Charter,” he said. “I encouraged the transitional authorities to do everything possible to implement the Transition Charter in an inclusive manner and in a spirit of national cohesion.”
Mr. Feltman said he underlined the UN’s commitment to providing Burkina Faso with the necessary support to organize free, transparent and democratic elections, saying that the Mr. Chambas would continue to use good offices to support, in close cooperation with regional and international partners, the efforts of national authorities during the transition.
In early November 2014, thousands of Burkinabé protesters took to the streets in the capital of Ouagadougou, facing off with security forces outside the presidential palace amid deadly violence that included the ransacking of Government buildings and the state television headquarters.
Following the violence, former President Blaise Compaoré announced his resignation, ending his 27-year stay in office, and handed power over to the military. By the end of that month, the country officially marked the transfer of power to Transitional President, Michel Kafando. A 26-member transitional government was subsequently appointed, and throughout, the Secretary-General called on all appointed leaders to work in a “collaborative and harmonious manner.”