Tag Archives: Burkina Faso

Diendere charged for Sankara assassination

Authorities in Burkina Faso have charged a general who led a failed coup in September with complicity in the 1987 assassination of President Thomas Sankara, senior security sources have told the Reuters news agency.

“General Gilbert Diendere is formally charged in the Thomas Sankara case,” a senior security source with direct knowledge of the case told Reuters, adding Diendere had been charged last month.

Mathieu Some, Diendere’s lawyer, told Reuters on Sunday that his client had been charged over Sankara’s death and he would prepare his legal defence. The charges are yet to be made public.

Ten others, less senior than Diendere, have already been charged, Reuters reported. The senior security official said most were soldiers in the elite presidential guard of former President Blaise Compaore, who was ousted in October 2014.

Source: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/12/burkina-faso-coup-leader-charged-sankara-murder-151206161901202.html

Interesting to see this coming through now, a few weeks only after Diendere’s failed coup attempt. No doubt Compaore also played a key role in the October 1987 events, but we’ll leave this to the Burkinabe justice to have the final say.

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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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The astonishing professionalism of ex-rebels

Antoine Glaser speaks to Le Figaro about the battle for Abidjan.

LE FIGARO. – How do you explain that the pro-Ouattara had met no resistance in their descent toward the south?

Antoine GLASER. – The Forces de Défense et de Sécurité, which seemed so far remain loyal to Laurent Gbagbo, have clearly shifted in recent days by seeing their opponents on the offensive. It must be said that the attack on Monday by the pro-Ouattara, after several weeks of quiet preparation, shows a surprising professionalism. Before the starting signal was launched, some countries in the region, such as Burkina Faso and Nigeria, have probably helped to arm and train the former rebels, who have new equipment. It is also likely that French and American military advisers were involved in the design of this operation, which has evidently a very precise running order.

 

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