Transitional authorities in Burkina Faso on Thursday declared a “general mobilization” in order to “give the state all the necessary means” to deal with jihadist activity, which often plunges the country into mourning, a decision that gives them the ability to impose sanctions.

The purpose of the decree is to create the “legal framework” for “the set of actions” required to “address the situation that Burkina Faso is experiencing”, says a press release from the presidency released after a cabinet meeting.

“In the face of the security situation facing Burkina Faso, the health of the nation depends on raising the national sentiment of all its sons and daughters to find a solution,” said Minister of Defense and Veterans, Brigadier General Kassom Coulibaly.

The authorities also released the “notice” that the government will now have “the right to command people, goods and services, the right to subject to its control and to redistribute resources of supply” and the right to “call (citizens) to work for the defense ” of the country, “individually or collectively”.

“General conscription makes certain defense measures applicable throughout the territory. It leads to the imposition of a state of emergency in areas of the country,” a senior security official told AFP.

Based on the law on the organization of national defense, “in case of danger to security and territorial integrity, the security of institutions and populations, the head of state may, beyond a state of exception, declare in part or all of of national territory (…) state of emergency (and/or) general mobilization’.

In December, the interim president, Captain Ibrahim Traoré, addressed the Constitutional Council about this decree; he secured the green light.

Captain Traore cited “serious threats to the institutions (…), independence and territorial integrity” of Burkina Faso.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Defense began an operation dubbed “empty warehouses” calling on all military personnel, active and retired, to give the armed forces their uniforms to be used by soldiers who are currently in the field.

Theater of two military coups in 2022, Burkina Faso has been faced since 2015 with a continuous escalation of violence by jihadist organizations that appeared in Mali and Niger a few years earlier and are now also operating on its territory.

Last week, 44 civilians were killed in an attack on two villages in the northeastern part of the country, near the border with Niger.

Action by groups that pledge allegiance to either the Islamic State or al-Qaeda has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people since 2015, according to non-governmental organizations, while displacing another two million civilians.

In February, Captain Traore, who seized power in a coup in late September, assured that he remained “determined” to fight the jihadists, amid the proliferation of their attacks.

And last week the newly appointed head of the armed forces, Brigadier-General Celestin Chaboret, said he wanted to step up offensive operations to force the jihadists to “lay down their arms”.

To regain “national sovereignty” in the fight against jihadists who control about 40 percent of the territory, authorities in Burkina Faso in January demanded that France’s Sabre force, made up of about 400 special forces, leave the country.