Burkina Faso’s Kabore Wins New Term in Vote Marred by Insecurity

Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kabore easily secured a second term after winning 57.9% of ballots in Nov. 22 presidential elections. Opposition groups questioned the results, saying the vote was marred by fraud.

Kabore, 63, appears set to lead the landlocked West African nation for another five years. Eddie Komboigo, the candidate of the former ruling party, obtained 15.5%, while Zephirin Diabre, a former finance minister, got 12.5%, the head of the electoral commission, Newton Ahmed Barry, told reporters Thursday.

Five members of the electoral commission refused to participate in the announcement of the results after a group of opposition parties, including those led by Diabre and Komboigo, alleged widespread fraud in the run-up to the vote at a Monday press conference in the capital, Ouagadougou.

Burkina Faso’s Kabore Wins New Term in Vote Marred by Insecurity

Kabore faces the difficult task of tackling escalating attacks by armed groups affiliated with al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, which have made large swathes of the gold producer ungovernable. Nearly 5,000 people have been killed and more than one million have been forced to flee their homes since Kabore swept to power on a wave of optimism in 2015.

Security concerns barred the electoral commission from registering voters in 17% of municipalities, particularly near the northern border with Mali. On voting day, hundreds of thousands of voters couldn’t cast ballots because polling stations didn’t open or were forced to close amid security concerns in the Soum and Est regions, the National Human Rights Commission said in a statement.

Kabore first took office after an interim government organized elections in the wake of a popular uprising that forced regional kingpin Blaise Compaore from power. Under Compaore, who ruled for almost three decades, Burkina Faso became one of the most stable countries in West Africa.

Compaore’s ouster plunged the military and the intelligence service into disarray and paved the way for Islamist militants based in Mali to gain a foothold in the northeast. Their expansion has since led to a proliferation of local militia and an increase of abuse of civilians by security forces, according to Human Rights Watch.

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