News Brief
Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images

Voters queue to vote at a polling station in Ouagadougou on November 22, 2020, during Burkina Faso's presidential and legislative elections.

Burkina Faso Commences Presidential Elections Despite Jihadist Attacks

Burkina Faso has gone ahead with the country's scheduled presidential elections despite continued attacks from Jihadist groups.

According to EWN, Burkina Faso went ahead with planned elections this past Sunday despite Jihadist threats which resulted in more than a fifth of the country not being able to vote. Additionally, opposition parties have been adamant about unseating current President Roch Marc Christian Kabore. According to Business Day news, Burkina Faso has been facing an unprecedented increase in Al-Qaeda related attacks which have destablised the country.


READ: 10 African Films That Deal With Protest Culture & History

For the first time ever, citizens living outside of Burkina Faso were reportedly allowed to cast their votes. BBC reports that Ivory Coast alone has over 1.7 million potential Burkina Faso voters. President Kaboré cast his vote at a school in Ouagadougou and encouraged people to do the same. Kabore has been president since 2015 and served under former President Blaise Compaoré who was president for three decades. Compaoré was ousted in 2014 and currently lives in exile.

Al Jazeera reports that the elections went relatively smoothly although some polling stations in the eastern region had to be closed because of safety concerns. Jihadists crossing over from Mali entered Burkina Faso about four years ago. Just last week, fourteen of Kabore's military soldiers were killed in a Jihadist ambush for which ISIS later claimed responsibility. Opposition parties have reportedly promised to host peace talks with the terror groups if voted into power. Kabore has reportedly refused this position and instead indicated increasing the number of security and army forces.

Kabore's government signed in a new electoral code this past August. The "extraordinary circumstances" code allowed for presidential and legislative elections to go ahead even if several polling stations cannot open. Opposition parties were dissatisfied by parliament invoking the new code and pledged an unofficial alliance as part of efforts to unseat Kabore in the elections. The change to the electoral code benefits Kabore's political party which has strong support from voters in areas that aren't affected by the violence, including Ouagadougou.

Kabore is, expected to win the election for a second presidential term. His main opposition are Zephirin Diabre, a former finance minister, and Eddie Komboigo, a candidate from the former ruling party. Results are expected to be in by the end of this week.

Film
Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty.

Michaela Coel Joins the 'Black Panther' Sequel Cast

The upcoming film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, is shaping up.

The sequel to the Oscar-winning Black Panther is only due to debut in July of 2022, but the production is well on its way.

The latest news out of the camp is that Michaela Coel, of I May Destroy You and Chewing Gum fame, has officially joined the cast of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Her character details are still under wraps but according to Variety, Coel has already joined director Ryan Coogler at Atlanta's Pinewood Studios, where production started in late June.

Coel joins original cast members Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong'o, Florence Kasumba, and Angela Bassett all reprising their roles. Following the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman, Marvel reportedly chose not to recast the role of T'Challa.

Read: How Michaela Coel's 'I May Destroy You' Makes Space For Black Creators

"It's clearly very emotional without Chad," Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige mentions. "But everyone is also very excited to bring the world of Wakanda back to the public and back to the fans. We're going to do it in a way that would make Chad proud."

Michaela Coel's highly-lauded 2020 series I May Destroy You — which she wrote, directed, produced and stared in — received four Emmy nominations.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is scheduled for wide release on July 8, 2022.

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