Restore Democracy in West Africa

RSP protest_Theo Renaut

Target: President Barak Obama

Goal: Urge the leaders of a military coup in Burkina Faso to step down.

The military coup in Burkina Faso, which has given illegitimate power to the presidential guard known as RSP, is causing chaos and violence in the country’s streets. A peaceful election was on the horizon for the citizens of Burkina Faso and the RSP ripped this long awaited dream away from them. The opposition to the coup has led to massive protests, in which at least six civilians were killed and another 60 wounded. Experts on West Africa and international crises believe public opinion and international pressure can stop the coup.

Barkina Faso’s former president, Blaise Compaore, seized power trough a coup in 1987 and ruled 27 years of alleged widespread abuse and corruption. He was ousted in a public uprising last year and is currently in exile. The RSP prospered under Compaore and remain his closest political ally. The people of Barkina Faso were finally, after two decades, able to rid themselves of a corrupt leader, only to have democracy once again seized from them by his loyalists.

The RSP named Compaore’s right-hand man as the new leader of Burkina Faso and was quick to start making demands, such as imposing a night-time curfew and closing the country’s borders. Burkina Faso’s interim President Michel Kafando and the Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida were kidnapped during the coup and detained for three days.

The United States considers Burkina Faso a key ally against militant extremists in Africa. The U.S. trained the presidential guard, helping them to become the most powerful armed group in Burkina Faso. The United States has expressed deep concern about the coup’s aftermath and condemned it’s unconstitutional seizure of power. Urge the United States to demand the RSP to step down and allow Burkina Faso to choose their next leader through legitimate means.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Obama,

The seizure of power in Burkina Faso has destroyed law and peace in the region. Deadly protests have already broken out in the streets, as leaders against the coup call for citizens to rise up. An unpopular faction stealing power in a region that was on the brink of democracy is disastrous for West Africa and will continue to cause massive uprisings and violence.

Since the United States considers Burkina Faso a close ally and helped train and militarize their presidential guard, it should be one of the loudest voices against the coup. The United States has recognized that the RSP’s seizure of power was unconstitutional and stated that the coup’s aftermath is very concerning.

As an ally to Burkina Faso and a world super power, the U.S. has the influence to pressure the presidential guard to allow the elections to go on, uncorrupted. Please urge the RSP to step down and allow for the restoration of democracy in the region.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Theo Renaut

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