At the UN General Assembly, the Burkinabè representative expresses his country’s concerns

Written by Dr. Florence Akano

In a bold and passionate address at the 78th United Nations General Assembly, Burkina Faso’s Minister of State, Bassolma Bazié, seized the opportunity to voice his country’s concerns and grievances on the international stage. Representing Burkina Faso’s transitional government led by Captain Ibrahim Traoré, Minister Bazié delivered a resounding message to the world, highlighting the challenges his nation faces, particularly in terms of defence and security.

The 78th United Nations General Assembly in New York provided a platform for Burkina Faso’s representative, Public Service Minister Bassolma Bazié, to express the transitional government’s concerns and grievances. Amidst a gathering of world leaders, Bazié took the opportunity to address the international community about the pressing issues that Burkina Faso is confronting, particularly in the realm of defence and security.

Critique of Western Hypocrisy

In his forty-minute speech, Minister Bazié did not mince words as he criticised what he deemed the “hypocrisy” of Western powers, with a particular focus on France. Drawing a parallel between the substantial support Ukraine receives in its conflict with Russia and the lack of support Burkina Faso receives in its battle against armed and terrorist groups, Bazié pointed to a glaring double standard in international relations. He argued that Burkina Faso’s urgent need for defence equipment is being deliberately hindered by its international partners, undermining its ability to protect its citizens and maintain stability.

Blocked Military Equipment and Canceled Training Agreements

Minister Bazié underscored that, besides aid cuts, international partners had cancelled training agreements for Burkina Faso’s defence and security forces. He emphasised the blockage of military equipment that Burkina Faso has ordered, echoing the frustrations of many within the country’s military establishment. Furthermore, he asserted that France, a country with historical influence in the region, played a significant role in these blockages.

As a glaring example of these obstacles, Bazié cited a contract with Brazil for aerial vehicles, which are crucial for territorial control and defence. The weaponry license was expected to come from Belgium, with navigation, firing systems, and cameras from the United States and the engine from Canada. According to Bazié, these resources are now deceitfully blocked, posing substantial challenges to Burkina Faso’s defence efforts.

Burkina Faso’s Determination to Secure Its Own Future

Despite these formidable challenges, Minister Bazié clarified that Burkina Faso is resolved to ensure its own security, primarily through its own efforts. In a resounding affirmation of the country’s sovereignty and independence, he declared that Burkina Faso would independently forge partnerships and procure defence resources from any nation it chooses. Whether these partners are Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Cuba, Nicaragua, or North Korea, Burkina Faso is determined to buy and sell its products without intermediaries or the need for external authorisation. This unequivocal statement underscores Burkina Faso’s unwavering commitment to autonomously handling security and defence matters, hinting at a potential shift in the country’s foreign policy approach.

Key Takeaways from the UN Address

Minister Bassolma Bazié’s speech at the UN General Assembly leaves several critical takeaways for the international community. Firstly, it brings to the forefront a critique of Western powers, particularly France, for what he sees as a glaring double standard in international relations. Bazié’s frustration at blocking military resources and cancelled training agreements underscores the challenges Burkina Faso faces in its quest for security and stability. Significantly, his assertion that Burkina Faso will independently form partnerships and procure defence resources from various nations signals a newfound determination to assert the nation’s sovereignty and autonomy in international affairs.

In conclusion, Minister Bazié’s address at the 78th UN General Assembly is a powerful reminder that smaller nations can and will assert their interests on the global stage. Burkina Faso’s resolve to secure its future independently has sent a strong message to the international community, and it remains to be seen how Burkina Faso’s partners will respond to these concerns and assertions.

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Dr. Florence Akano

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