Lassina Zerbo appointed Prime Minister of Burkina Faso

The former UN official in charge of the nuclear test ban, Lassina Zerbo, was appointed prime minister of Burkina Faso on Friday, December 10, after President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré called on the population to “Gathering” in the face of the jihadist attacks which are plaguing the country.

Mr. Zerbo, appointed by presidential decree, succeeds Christophe Joseph Dabiré, who resigned Wednesday evening, carried away by the growing anger of the population against the executive, and accused of being unable to stop terrorist attacks. A new government will be formed in the coming days.

Lassina Zerbo, 58, was head of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization from 2013 to August 2021. Little known to the general public, this doctor in geophysics has won several awards including that of “scientific diplomacy Awarded in 2018 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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His task at the head of the government will be immense as Burkina has been facing a serious security crisis for several years. Like its Malian and Nigerian neighbors, the country has been caught since 2015 in a spiral of violence attributed to jihadist armed groups, affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group, which have left at least 2,000 dead and 1.4 million displaced. . Attacks targeting civilians and soldiers are increasingly frequent and the vast majority concentrated in the north and east of the country.

Strong distrust of the population

Friday evening, before the announcement of the appointment of Mr. Zerbo, President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré had called for “Gathering” and at “National leap” to defeat ” terrorism “.

“All Burkinabés must be part of this fight, because it is the only one that is worth fighting today”, he declared in an address to the Nation, on public television. “I appeal to all the daughters and sons of our Nation to make the war effort, each according to his or her possibilities”, he added without detailing what this effort consisted of. According to him, “The sacred union (…) in the relentless fight against terrorism” is a priority.

Power has been facing strong public mistrust for several weeks. At the end of November, hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets in Ouagadougou to demand the departure of the executive. About ten people, including a child and two journalists, were injured in the dispersal of these steps.

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The exasperation of the Burkinabés was exacerbated by the particularly deadly attack in Inata (north), on November 14, where at least 57 people, including 53 gendarmes, were killed by jihadists. Two weeks before this attack, the gendarmes of Inata had alerted the staff to their precarious situation, claiming to lack food and to feed themselves thanks to poaching.

Mr. Kaboré was elected in November 2015, a year after his predecessor Blaise Compaoré, in power since 1987, was chased into the streets for wanting to modify the Constitution in order to remain in his post. He was re-elected in 2020 for a five-year term.

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The World with AFP

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Lassina Zerbo appointed Prime Minister of Burkina Faso