Burkina Faso opposition to demand resignation of President Roch Marc Christian Kabore

Opposition groups in Burkina Faso will take to the streets of Ouagadougou today to demand the resignation of President Roch

Burkina Faso opposition to hold protest demanding resignation of President Roch Marc Christian Kabore

Photo: Reuters/Anne Mimault

Opposition groups in Burkina Faso will take to the streets of Ouagadougou today to demand the resignation of President Roch Marc Christian Kabore.

Tensions have risen as Islamic militants linked to al Qaeda have strengthened influence throughout the West African country. Opposition to the government was moreover galvanized following a recent terrorist attack that killed 53 Burkinabe soldiers, leading the government to disconnect internet access to suppress dissent.

Since 2015, thousands have died and more than a million citizens have been displaced by conflict, mostly from the north. Islamic insurgents have targeted gold mines, the source of Burkina Faso’s wealth and main export. Anti-French sentiments have also amplified as French security forces fail to suppress the insurgency despite a continued military presence.

Expect clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces today. The protests will likely bring about further disruption as the defense ministry attempts to appease the population. President Kabore, however, is unlikely to resign given last year’s election. In the longer-term, Ouagadougou will likely increase military cooperation with neighbors Mali and Niger to quash insurgent safe havens, while potentially decreasing French presence, a move which would stir discontent with its critical ally in Paris and foster the potential for further terrorist attacks.

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