After a spectacular series of events − which involved an overthrow, an uprising and an apology in little more than a week − Burkina Faso finds itself back on its transitional track.
On 16 September, the elite Presidential Guard (RSP) seized power under the leadership of Colonel Gilbert Diendéré, a close ally of former president Blaise Compaoré. Compaoré’s 27 years in office had come to an abrupt halt just 11 months earlier amidst a popular uprising in October 2014, and there were concerns that the RSP’s coup had essentially reversed Burkina Faso’s revolution.
However, Burkinabé demonstrators took to the streets in huge numbers once again, and with the army marching on the capital Ouagadougou vowing to disarm the RSP, the coup leaders eventually backed down. Diendéré promised to hand back power to civilian rule and apologised for the coup.
These latest events demonstrate the ongoing determination of Burkinabé civil society and its ability to mobilise. But despite its strength and victories this past year, a survey of Burkina Faso’s political landscape going forwards, including in and around the upcoming elections, suggests that huge challenges for those demanding change lie ahead.READ MORE OF THIS STORY ON AFRICAN ARGUMENTS