Burkinabe military ruler hails talks with jihadists

 Burkinabe military ruler hails talks with jihadists

The leader of Burkina Faso’s military junta has hailed ongoing talks with armed jihadist groups in the country, saying the progress is “beyond what was expected”.

The talks are part of ongoing national dialogue with local armed groups controlling swathes of territory in the country

In a televised address on Sunday, Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba said the progress recorded was “very significant”.

“Several dozen young people have already agreed to lay down their arms and committing to the government-supervised process,” Mr Damiba said.

He said the talks had led to relative calm in areas that previously witnessed regular attacks, and locals had started returning to their homes.

Sunday’s address by Lt-Col Damiba was his first assessment of the national dialogue.

He called for “a new beginning” and promised to report often on the progress of the talks.