February 21, 2017 / 10:36 AM / 3 years ago

Burkina president cedes defence portfolio in cabinet reshuffle

Burkina Faso's President Roch Marc Christian Kabore addresses the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) - Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kabore has handed over control of the defence portfolio to a new minister as the country battles to contain the spread of Islamist militant violence.

Jean Claude Bouda, previously youth minister, moved into the role of defence minister in a cabinet reshuffle announced on Monday. Kabore had held the post himself but had faced calls from some politicinas to hand over responsibilty.

Burkina Faso is struggling to stem the overflow of Islamist militancy from neighbouring Mali.

Al Qaeda-linked fighters attacked a hotel in the capital, Ouagadougou, in January last year, killing 29 people. Militants have since staged numerous attacks near the northern border with Mali, including one in December that killed a dozen members of the army’s special anti-terrorist group. [nL5N1EB51Y][nL8N150075]

Simon Compaore, who had served as minister of territorial administration, was named minister of state for security in the reshuffle.

Reporting by Mathieu Bonkoungou; Writing by Joe Bavier, Editing by Angus MacSwan

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