Burkina Faso’s president Roch Kabore has kicked out defence minister Cheriff Sy who was in the post since January 2019, according to a decree read on national television.
Kabore has now directly assumed the role as his country re-organised the cabinet to stop a wave of jihadist attacks that has plagued the country in recent years.
He will be assisted in the role by Colonel Major Aimé Simpore, who had previously helped run national security policy.
Maxime Koné will replace Ousseni Compaore as security minister.
Groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State originally based in neighbouring Mali have embedded themselves across north and eastern Burkina Faso, launching regular attacks on civilians.
One of the attacks in June killed more than 130 people, the worst in years.
Pressure has increased on Kabore to win back control and end a humanitarian crisis in which more than 1 million people have been displaced by violence.
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Leading opposition politicians have demanded the resignation of the government and called for a demonstration this weekend against what they say is the government’s inability to deal with the crisis.
Despite the presence of thousands of U.N. peacekeepers, attacks by jihadists in West Africa’s Sahel region have risen sharply since the start of the year, particularly in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, with civilians bearing the brunt.
The attack in June pushed above 500 the people killed by armed Islamists in the Sahel region since January, according to Human Rights Watch.