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Updated Jul 6, 2020
Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kabore poses for a group picture during the G5 Sahel summit on June 30, 2020, in Nouakchott. The leaders of the G5 Sahel West African countries and their ally France are meeting to confer over their troubled efforts to stem a jihadist offensive unfolding in the region, six months after rebooting their campaign in Pau, southwestern France. Ludovic MARIN / POOL / AFP
Burkinabe president Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, photographed during the G5 Sahel summit in Nouakchott, Mauritiania, on June 30, 2020. (Ludovic Marin/Pool/AFP)

A coalition of trade unions gathered in the Burkinabe capital, Ouagadougou, on July 4 to restate demands to the government and motivate its members to take part in a mass general strike on July 8 and 9. The coalition’s demands have largely been focused on charges of corruption and poor economic management on the part of the ruling MPP party and President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré.

The fact that the coalition successfully convened the general meeting is a strong sign that it will deliver on the threat of a strike, given that its spokesperson, Bassolma Bazié, had announced the group’s intention to hold such a meeting and a general strike on these dates about two weeks earlier.

 

Compounding a Crisis

The threat of a mass strike places further pressure on the Kaboré administration, which has been trying to get a handle on the spread of COVID-19 in the country while contending with a dire humanitarian crisis. More than 800,000 people have been internally displaced due to an escalating jihadist insurgency and food insecurity.

The pandemic has further put a grinding halt to most mining exploration in the country, which forms the backbone of the country’s exports, 75 percent of which is gold.

 

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