The People’s Democratic League (PDL), a third and moral alternative opposition in Sierra Leone joins the international community in strongly condemning the coup in neighboring Burkina Faso by that country’s military and its illegal detention of the constitutionally and democratically elected President Roch Marc Kaboré and other politicians and human rights’ activists. This coup, which was continued Monday, 24th January 2022 is yet another shameful and egregious violation of democracy and unjustified attack on the rule of law in the West African nation.
The international community must make it clear that the military leaders who have seized power in Ouagadougou will be held accountable for their actions. The situation in Burkina Faso is detestable and we stand in solidarity with the Burkinabe people whose human rights, as guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, are being forcefully trampled.
The process to develop the democratic process in Burkina Faso must not be subverted. The Burkinabe military leaders must respect the country’s rule of law. We support the statement of the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, and other international Institutions that any action that aims to take over a government by force of arms must be rejected.
The Burkinabe military must willingly accept the people’s free and democratic choice and comply with international human rights norms. President Roch Marc Kaboré and other government officers should be released, immediately and unconditionally.
As a democratic organ, the People’s Democratic League calls on the military leaders in Burkina Faso to acknowledge that the fruit of economic growth and improvement of living standard is a result of democratization and peaceful co-existence of multiple political parties. Resorting to illegal and undemocratic means of changing the government in Ouagadougou will only reverse Burkinabe’s effort to attract foreign investments and international economic development.
Together with other democratic political parties in and outside Africa, we will mobilize international solidarity for our siblings in Burkina Faso in their continuous struggle for peace, democracy and democratic good governance, the rule of law, human rights justice, freedom, and dignity. We call on multilateral organisations and governments to send a clear message to the Burkinabe military to respect democracy and the Constitution, and to reinstate the elected government of President Roch Marc Kaboré.
And as a right step in the right direction towards promoting peace, democracy and democratic good governance, the rule of law, human rights justice, freedom, and dignity in Burkina, the PDL calls on:
- The Burkinabe military to immediately and unconditionally release all persons detained as part of its coup, respect the democratic will of the Burkinabe people, and restore the elected and legitimate government of President Roch Marc Kaboré to its non-emergency constitutionally required state.
- The government of President Julius Maada Bio in Freetown, to toe the line of the international community and take a clear, forceful, and zero-tolerance position against the violations of the constitutional human rights and democratic freedoms of the Burkinabe people.
- As a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) the government of Sierra Leone owes it as a commitment to exert pressure to bear on the military coup leaders in Burkina Faso to lay down their arms and reverse their action, which to all intents and purpose will do more harm than good to the Burkinabe people.
- Foreign companies doing business with the Burkinabe military to cut such links until the elected government of President Roch Marc Kaboré is reinstated and human rights are respected. This must be done in line with United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
- The international community to implement targeted sanctions against the Burkinabe military, its officers, and their economic interests and any other appropriate forms of pressure to reverse the coup in Ouagadougou, as well as to support all accountability mechanisms against the coupists in Ouagadougou, including the International Court of Justice (ICJ), International Criminal Court (ICC), and other international processes, to finally end the culture of impunity associated with the Burkinabe military.
There can be no sustainable future for Burkina Faso without a return to civilian constitutional rule that respects the constitutional human rights and democratic freedoms of all Burkinabe people.
(Chief) Alimamy Bakarr Sankoh
Founder Member, Leader and National Chairman
The People’s Democratic League