Tag Archives: blaise compaoré

The Revolution in Burkina Faso

In late October, the landlocked African nation of Burkina Faso saw the end of its president’s 27-year-long reign. A popular revolution terminated Blaise Compaoré’s term after he tried to change the constitution so that he could run for a fifth consecutive term.

Cornered by an angry mob in his presidential palace, “Beau Blaise” fled the country along with his entourage as protesters torched the National Assembly and other symbols of the old regime.

Now in exile, Compaoré is rumored to be living in luxury on the Ivory Coast. In Burkina Faso, a new transitional government has emerged, led by President Michel Kafando and his prime minister, Lieutenant-Colonel Yacouba Isaac Zida.

VICE News went to the streets of Burkina Faso’s capital of Ouagadougou in the midst of the revolution to document the final hours of Compaoré’s reign.

In 1983, Thomas Sankara, known as the Che Guevara of Africa, took power in Burkina Faso. But a few years later, he was overthrown in a French-backed coup. In his place, the French installed, Blaise Compoare. Many years have passed and he is still in power. However, it seems that his days are numbered. There is a revolution happening in Burkina Faso. Protest has been stirring for weeks as President Blaise Compoare has been trying to extend his term limits. The people won’t allow it and have taken over the TV centre and Parliament. 19 people have already been killed and an army coup is brewing. A key Western ally in the region, is the government about to fall?

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Goodbye, Blaise Compaoré

What a day.

Blaise Compaoré left Burkina Faso after 27 years in power following an uprising.

No glory, no honor. His thirst for power, his inability to develop Burkina Faso, and his tendencies to get involved in other countries’ politics (Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire and many others) finally caught up with Beau Blaise.

 

As said by Thomas Sankara, “while revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered, you cannot kill ideas”.

Al Jazeera published “Burkina Faso: Ghost of ‘Africa’s Che Guevara“, and draws links between the teachings from the defunct leader, and the situation in Ouagadougou over the past few days.

Many of the protesters say the history of the slain 1980s leader partly inspired them to rise against Blaise Compaoré, who has been in power for 27 years and was trying, by a vote in parliament, for another five.

Though some see Sankara as an autocrat who came to office by the power of the gun, and who ignored basic human rights in pursuit of his ideals, in recent years he has been cited as a revolutionary inspiration not only in Burkina Faso but in other countries across Africa.

The situation is still not clear, as the “coup within the coup” from Presidential Guard commander Lieutenant Colonel Isaac Zida has been met with negative feedback both from the Burkinabè and the International community.

The next few weeks will be critical, as whoever is in power will have to deal with an escalation in violence from the protesters and Compaoré’s loyalists, notwithstanding the previous regional threats such as Ebola and terrorism.

 

 

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Blaise Compaoré, 25 years later

From African Arguments, here is an interesting article on Blaise Compaore, who has been president of Burkina Faso for 25 years.

Compared to contemporaries like Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, the late Libyan ruler Muammar Al Ghaddafi and Liberia’s Charles Taylor, Compaoré has indeed kept a low profile and has managed to prevent himself becoming associated with the worst expressions of African political life  – at least not in his own country. But a more critical assessment of his legacy and method of government demonstrates that he is in no way the ‘benign dictator’ that Keating and Nadoun would like him to be.

I really recommend to read it, as Peter Dörrie hits two very good points:

Blaise Compaoré is the only African head of state who managed to dramatically limit the development of his country without declaring outright war on it

and

That he has managed to avoid directly killing a large part of his population in the process shouldn’t win him any praise, written or otherwise.

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Five African Presidents to solve the Ivorian crisis

The African Union has given to a panel of five African heads of states the task to solve the Ivorian crisis in one month. Already, the solution proposed by the African institution is rejected by both administrations.

The fact that 3 out of these five heads of States have led coups to get to the presidency is worrying (just as the news that Obiang N’Guema is now the Chairman of the African Union is).

Who are the presidents in the panel ?

Blaise Compaoré, 59, President of Burkina Faso since a coup in 1987. He was elected in 1991, 1998, 2005 and 2010 (after a modification of the Constitution). He has played an active role in the Accords de Ouagadougou (2007) which paved the way to the elections. He’s been accused of hosting and helping the 2002 rebellion.

“The ECOWAS Heads of State of agreed on the need to consider measures to restore constitutional order. But for the moment we do not want this to Côte d’Ivoire”.


Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz, 54, President of Mauritania since a military coup in 2008. Was elected in the controversial 2009 presidential elections. Abdelaziz was himself targeted by African Union sanctions after his 2008 coup, and was not recognized as head of state until his election. He’s been advocating for a military intervention against Gbagbo.

Jacob Zuma, 68, President of South Africa since 2009.

“We recognize and respect that Ivory Coast belongs to Ecowas and so it is more the responsibility of Ecowas to decide what to do. We need to do something else to help the situation, rather than demand that one of the two leaders go away. We believe that we need to find a way to look at the facts and verify them and on the basis of that information move forward,” Zuma said. “We believe there are also some discrepancies in how some of the institutions worked.”


Idriss Déby Itno, 59, President of Chad since a coup in 1990. He was elected in 1996, 2001 and 2006.

The Chadian President Idriss Deby, said last Wednesday, during an interview that he opposed military intervention in resolving the election crisis in Côte d’Ivoire. This option is “not the solution, ” even if “Alassane Ouattara won the election, we must find a solution that does not push the Ivory Coast civil war, ” he said.

Jakaya Kikwete, 60, President of the United Republic of Tanzania since his election in 2005. Also former chairman of the African Union (2008-2009) and was very active in solving the Kenyan election crisis between Odinga and Kibaki.

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