OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) -Burkina Faso’s new military leader Ibrahim Traore will respect a democratic transition timeline agreed between his predecessor and West Africa regional bloc ECOWAS, he said in a statement late on Tuesday.
The comments followed a meeting with an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) delegation sent to meet the junta that took power last week in the second coup to hit the West African country this year.
Traore said Burkina Faso would “respect the dynamic compromise” agreed with ECOWAS in July to restore constitutional order in 24 months.
He also said the country would honour its international commitments, particularly regarding the protection of human rights, and would collaborate with ECOWAS evaluation mechanisms.
The ECOWAS mediator who headed the delegation, former Niger president Mahamadou Issoufou, on Tuesday said he was satisfied with the exchanges.
Traore led the coup that ousted military leader Paul-Henri Damiba, who had seized power in a previous coup in January and promised ECOWAS to restore civilian rule by July 2024.
Both takeovers were spurred by frustrations over growing insecurity caused by a rampant Islamist insurgency that began in neighbouring Mali in 2012 and spread to other countries south of the Sahara Desert.
Thousands have been killed in raids on rural communities and millions have been forced to flee.
Days before the coup unfolded, 27 soldiers and 10 civilians were killed in an attack on a supply comvoy in northern Burkina Faso, the army said in an updated assessment of the aftermath on Wednesday.
It added that 29 people had been injured – mainly soldiers – and three people were still missing.
An Al Qaeda branch claimed the attack.
(Reporting by Thiam Ndiaga and Anne MimaultWriting by Sofia Christensen; Editing by Barbara Lewis and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)