OUAGADOUGOU, JUNE 30, 2020 (CISA)-As the country prepares for the November 22 Presidential and Legislative elections, the Episcopal Conference of Burkina Faso has said that the polls will be crucial to the peace and stability of the country.
“Given that the right to vote and to be voted is a right guaranteed to all Burkinabè citizens, the question then arises is how to meet this important challenge through effective securing of the electoral process and taking account of internally displaced persons in their particular situation,” the bishops said after their June 9-13 plenary assembly.
Despite the challenges, they stressed the need to organize the elections “throughout the national territory and ensure the full participation of all populations wherever they are in order to guarantee the President-elect full legitimacy and give all the provinces be represented in the National Assembly.”
Burkina Faso is part of the volatile Sahel region, which separates North Africa from Sub-Saharan Africa. The area has been marred by instability made worse by several concurrent Islamist insurgencies.
“Clearly, it is the political and institutional stability of our country that is at stake as is its territorial integrity,” the bishops said.
“It is a challenge to be met at all costs, it is a challenge for the whole nation and we must pool our energies. It’s possible! Witness the solidarity aroused at all levels by the COVID-19 pandemic!”
The bishops decried the worsening security situation in the larger Sahel region saying “it is a great pain to no longer be able to reach the faithful in places or see them flee terrorist abuses without guarantees of security.”
As part of the preparations for the elections, the bishops have called on the military to produce and guarantee a security environment favorable to the conduct of the electoral process with the full participation of all citizens.
According to United Nations, more than 850,000 people have been forced from their home due to Jihadist attacks which began in 2015.