Burkina Faso’s new military leader, Captain Ibrahim Traore told VOA in an interview Saturday he is not looking for a confrontation with Burkinabe forces that might be supporting the ousted junta.
“The fight we are engaged in is not about power,” he said.
Military officers Friday claimed to have ousted junta leader Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, saying he had failed to quash a growing Islamist insurgency.
“The fight we are leading is for Burkina Faso,” Traore said.
“You have to go deep into the bush to understand certain things. … Can you imagine that we go into villages and see all the leaves on the trees have disappeared because people are eating those leaves. People even eat grass. We are proposing solutions that could allow us to produce and protect these people, we are not being heard. We proposed so many solutions and I understood that in the end, we are playing politics,” he said.
“We want to protect our people. We want to get our people out of this misery, this underdevelopment, this insecurity. That’s the fight.”
Damiba took power in January, after a coup, replacing President Roch Marc Christian Kabore, whom Damiba had accused of failing to deal with the Islamist insurgency.
Agence France-Presse reports that the general staff of Burkina Faso’s army has dismissed the coup as an “internal crisis” within the military.
Damiba wrote on the presidency’s Facebook page that his rivals should “come to their senses to avoid a fratricidal war that Burkina Faso doesn’t need.”
Traore told VOA, “We are waiting for a national forum that will choose a president. We are not here for power.”