Behold the new Strongman of Burkina Faso, Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba

Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba took command of Burkina Faso on January 24, after the arrest of President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré by mutinous soldiers. Who is this senior infantry officer in the Burkinabe Armed Forces?

Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba. A name that has been in the news since Sunday January 23 in Africa. But what can we learn from this man who ousted the President of Burkina Faso? Three things!

Military background

Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba needs no introduction in Burkina Faso and West Africa. He is one of the most influential soldiers. Before his putsch, he was Commander of the third military region. A position he officially took in December 2021, following an appointment by President Roch Marc Kaboré.

In terms of academic qualifications, Mr. Sandaogo holds a diploma from the military school in Paris. He holds a master’s degree in criminal sciences from the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts (CNAM) in Paris and a Defense expert certification in management, command and strategy. A career that has allowed him to forge a link with France.

Committed to the fight against terrorism
Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba is a frontline fighter in the fight against terrorism in Burkina Faso. Between 2015 and 2019, he assumed military responsibilities in the Sahel and North regions. A rich experience that he capitalized on with the writing of a book entitled: “ West African Armies and Terrorism: Uncertain Responses?  “. 

A book, a testimony
His literary essay: “West African Armies and Terrorism: Uncertain Answers? is a book of analysis, testimony and judgment by a man who took part in several terrorist operations in West Africa.

In this book, Mr. Sandaogo talks about the complexity of the issues and the challenges to be met in the fight against terrorism in this part of the African continent.


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