Panafrican News Agency

Burkina Faso party rejects former Niger president Issoufou as ECOWAS mediator

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (PANA) - The party of former Burkina Faso president, Blaise Compaoré, on Sunday rejected the choice of the former president of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, as mediator of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) of the socio-political crisis in the country.

"The Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP) calls on the transitional authorities and the people of Burkina Faso to reject the appointment of Mr. Mahamadou Issoufou as ECOWAS mediator for Burkina Faso," said the CDP.

The statement signed by Achille Tapsoba explains that a mediator is "a priori" an impartial personality who is equidistant from the parties and has a proven credibility towards all.

However, it said, Mr. Issoufou does not meet these considerations and criteria.

According to the CDP, the former Niger President had recently distinguished himself as a key player in previous crises that Burkina Faso had experienced.

"He has by his political, diplomatic and financial support contributed to the chaos in our country in 2014. Thus, in Burkina Faso, no one in good faith can deny the personal involvement of Mr Issoufou in the events of October 2014," it said.

The statement added that during the events of 2014, a legally established government was overthrown by the military and a section of the population with the support of Mr Issoufou.

It added: "Mahamadou Issoufou benefited from the political and financial support of this regime which was his benefactor."

In this same context, the CDP said, Mr. Issoufou "manoeuvred with all his might among his ECOWAS Heads of State peers to consolidate the power (of the 2015 transition) of Lieutenant Colonel Yacouba Isaac Zida in tandem with Michel Kafando with a view to handing over power to his friends in the People's Movement for Progress (MPP) of Salif Diallo, Simon Compaoré and Roch Marc Christian Kaboré.

"In short, Mr Issoufou is no stranger to what we are experiencing. Moreover, he is a divisive figure in the Burkinabe political class," the CDP argued.

As for his quality of "great democrat", the CDP recalls that the Nigerien people and international opinion "have not forgotten that the so-called democrat Mahamadou Issoufou threw his main political opponent into prison during the election period".

The statement added that the former president of Niger repressed demonstrations by Nigerien democrats to demand justice and respect for human rights when he held the high office of President of the Republic.

"When we know that at the end of the transition in Burkina Faso, general and local elections will be organised for which the opinions and assessments of the mediator will be taken into account in the decision-making of ECOWAS, there is a real risk that the mediator will take up the cause of helping his friends in Burkina Faso," the CDP said.

The former president of Niger was appointed as mediator of the political crisis in Burkina Faso during a Summit of leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on 4 June in Accra.

The summit was devoted to the examination of political developments in Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali following military takeovers in those countries.

-0- PANA TNDD/IS/BBA/MA 12June2022