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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

Statement by the National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice on Recent Events in Burkina Faso

The United States congratulates the people of Burkina Faso for their success in defending Burkinabe democracy and reinstating the transitional government earlier this week.  Burkinabe citizens again refused to accept infringement of their right to choose leaders in a legitimate process, just as they did a year ago when the previous president attempted to extend his stay in office illegitimately.  The success of the people of Burkina Faso in peacefully resisting the actions of a few who sought to undermine democracy is a reminder that ordinary citizens with the courage to speak out against injustices are the ultimate protectors of democratic governance.

We wish to express our appreciation to the international partners who condemned the events in Burkina Faso and took immediate action to help prevent the country’s democratic transition from being derailed, especially the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union, and the United Nations.  ECOWAS leaders, in particular, helped bring the parties together, pushed for the release of those being detained, and gathered to express their support for reinstating the transitional government.  These developments highlight the importance of regional leadership in upholding democratic standards and defending the rights of citizens to choose their governments.

Burkina Faso now faces some of the hardest questions, and the United States will continue to stand with the people of Burkina Faso as they prepare for democratic elections.  We call on all parties to embrace peaceful dialogue and seek inclusive solutions that uphold the principles of democratic governance that the people of Burkina Faso have repeatedly stood up to protect.