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Burkina Faso names new Prime Minister

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President Roch Marc Christian Kabore has named a new head of government. President Kabore on Monday appointed a new Prime Minister Christophe Dabire, part of a reshuffle coinciding with a rising wave of jihadist attacks. His appointment was read on national television by the government’s general secretary.

Before becoming Premier, Dabire was Burkina’s representative at the eight-nation West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA). In the 1990s, he served as minister to former president Blaise Compaore, partly at a time when Kabore himself was premier.

Dabire’s portfolios were for health, followed by secondary and higher education, and then scientific research. He succeeds Paul Kaba Thieba, an economist whose departure along with the rest of the cabinet was announced by the presidency last Friday.

In the meantime, no formal explanation has been given for the reshuffle, nonetheless, sources close to President Kabore said he wanted a fresh approach on tackling the country’s problems. Burkina Faso, which lies in the heart of the vast Sahel region, is battling with a bloody Islamist insurgency as well as bouts of social unrest. On Friday, five people were killed and eight wounded in a clash between police and angry youths in the western town of Orodara.

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