Captain Ibrahim Traore has signed several decrees reorganizing the country’s National Armed Forces (FAN).
Burkina Faso is now divided into six military regions for the army, two air regions for the airforce, six Gendarmerie regions and six force groups, according to a presidential decree signed by Captain Traore on November 14, 2022.
This provision repeals the 1994 decree organizing the national territory into defense zones and military regions.
Another decree creates six ‘Rapid Intervention Battalions’ (BIR).
Based in Ouagadougou, they can be deployed throughout the national territory according to “operational needs,” says the official decree seen by APA.
“The BIR will intervene as quickly as possible and as far ahead as possible, giving priority to mobility and power in the face of the threat to the integrity of the territory,” the presidential decree explains.
According to Captain Ibrahim Traore, these battalions are at the disposal of the National Theatre Operations Command (COTN), itself now placed under the administrative authority of the Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces (CEMGA) and the operational command of the Deputy CEMGA.
Captain Farouk Azaria Sorgho has been appointed commander of the 4th Rapid Intervention Battalion.
He is known for having read the communiqué during the September 30, 2022 putsch against Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba.
President Traore also made several appointments.
Lieutenant-Colonel Christian Ouattara was appointed Chief of Staff of the Air Force.
He replaces Colonel Vincent de Paul Ouedraogo, who was close to the ousted Damiba.
In another decree, dated November 14, the Burkinabe head of state appointed new commanders of military regions.
Some 40 active duty officers have been promoted to higher ranks as of October 1, 2022.
The former deputy of the Transitional Legislative Assembly (ALT), Dr. Arouna Loure, a civil society member, said that the promotion of captains highlights the “divide between junior officers, senior officers and generals.
For him, appointing them to the role of commander of military regions” is very courageous, and at the same time suicidal.
He explained that these are positions that should be reversed to colonels or general officers according to a certain organizational chart.
“Also, there will no longer have a lieutenant colonel at the front. I can’t imagine a lieutenant colonel at the front under the command of a captain or a commander. So these appointments would mean one thing: the non-employability of senior officers and general officers,” insisted Dr. Loure.
Captain Traore is trying to take control of the army.
In mid-October, he appointed Captain Oumarou Yabre as Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (ANR).
In power since early October, the captain had announced a restructuring of the army to make it more operational and effective on the front lines.
He has since launched a vast recruitment exercise for rank and file soldiers.