Ibrahim Traore, 34 has been sworn in as interim president of Burkina Faso, several weeks after Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba was removed in a coup.

At a ceremony on Friday, Traore pledged support for a transition leading to elections in July 2024 as he took the oath of office in the capital Ouagadougou under tight security.

After taking the oath, Traore, dressed in military fatigues and a scarf with the country’s national colours, said: “We are confronted with a security and humanitarian crisis without precedent.

“Our aims are none other than the reconquest of territory occupied by these hordes of terrorists,” he added. “Burkina’s existence is in danger”.

Traore led disgruntled junior officers on September 30 in the second coup in eight months in the West African country.

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Damiba had himself seized power only in January, forcing out Burkina Faso’s last elected president, Roch Marc Christian Kabore.

The official investiture followed an announcement earlier this week by the constitutional council, which said the 34-year-old Traore had been designated as “president of the transition, head of state, supreme chief of the national armed forces” by a national meeting of the country’s forces.

In its statement on Wednesday, the council said it officially took note of Damiba’s “resignation” and “the vacancy of the presidency”.

Burkina Faso has witnessed political instability amid anger at failures to stem a seven-year armed uprising that has claimed thousands of lives and driven nearly two million people from their homes.

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