AFRICA/BURKINA FASO - The Bishops remind the coup leaders: "Governing is putting oneself at the service of the common good"

Friday, 28 January 2022 bishops   coup  

Ouagadougou (Agenzia Fides) - "We acknowledge the changes that have taken place", say the Bishops of Burkina Faso, where in the night between Sunday 23 and Monday 24 January, a military coup overthrew the civil government (see Fides, 24/1/2022).
In a statement sent to Fides we read that "following the meeting, at the initiative of the current authorities of Burkina Faso, with several religious leaders, on Wednesday, January 26, 2022, to explain the reasons that motivated their action on January 24, January, the bishops of Burkina Faso take note of the changes that have taken place". "Such abrupt and unconstitutional changes are not without problems", underline the Bishops, who add: "If the challenge of security is the primary motivation of these events, others must also be faced, such as the return of displaced persons to their homes, national reconciliation, economic challenges and many others that require the participation of all". The military who took power criticize the civilian government for not having had an adequate strategy to counter the jihadist terrorism that has been raging in increasingly large areas of the country for years, and for not having provided the security forces with the means suitable for meeting this challenge.
As the Bishops recall, insecurity has forced nearly one and a half million people to be internally displaced, while the national economy is seriously affected by violence and the pandemic crisis. The bishops recall that "that authority is a service for the common good. The new authorities must deal with the proper organization to meet the deep aspirations of our people. We urge them to guarantee the detainees their safety, physical integrity and dignity".
The coup has been condemned by the international community and risks leaving Burkina Faso in isolation, even economically. "Given the novelty of the national situation and the legitimate reciprocal questions, we can only insistently invite prayer to ask God to enlighten us and give us his Spirit of wisdom, so that we can move towards a definitive solution to the crisis and a lasting peace", say the Bishops, who ask the "Most Holy Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace, and Saint Joseph, Protector of the Universal Church, to accompany our country with their powerful intercession in the search for reconciliation, justice and true peace". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 28/1/2022)