About this video:
Captain Thomas Isidore Noël Sankara (December 21, 1949 October 15, 1987) was the leader of Burkina Faso (formerly known as Upper Volta) from 1983 to 1987. While noted for his personal charisma and praised for promoting health and women’s rights, he also antagonised many vested interests in the country. He was overthrown and assassinated in a coup d’état led by Blaise Compaoré on October 15, 1987, sometimes believed to have been at the instruction of France.
On Sankara: here.
From Al Jazeera:
Burkina Faso gets new prime minister
Ambassador to France to lead new government following a mutiny by soldiers and days of riots in West African country.
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2011 00:49
Burkina Faso‘s president has appointed a new prime minister following days of riots and protests involving soldiers, police and students in the West African country.
Earlier, Burkina Faso’s state TV said students had burned down the ruling party headquarters and the prime minister’s house in the central city of Koudougou, according to the Associated Press.
In the northern town of Kaya, soldiers and paramilitary police fired shots in the air, torched the home of an army regiment chief and ransacked that of a regional officer, residents told the AFP news agency by telephone.
The incidents follow a mutiny by soldiers that started last week in the capital, Ouagadougou, and has spread north and east.
Compaore, who came to power in a 1987 military coup, has faced a series of protests since February, staged first by students and then by soldiers.
Compaore had his predecessor, Thomas Sankara, “too Leftist” for French and other neo-colonial interests, murdered.
That the new prime minister is ex-ambassador to Sarkozy’s France, involved now in neo-colonial war in another ex-French colony, Ivory Coast, does not look like a good omen in this perspective.
The anti-dictatorship movement in Burkina Faso has managed to remove one important prop of the Compaore tyranny. However, the whole regime, especially dictator Compaore himself, will have to go.
He won a new five-year term in office after taking 80 per cent of the votes in November elections.
Compaore’s government warned on Sunday that it would take action against anyone using illegal arms with “the full force of the law”.
“For several days, soldiers and civilians … have been using firearms in violation of regulations,” the security ministry said in a statement.
“This state of affairs will not be tolerated in a state with the rule of law.”
The security ministry said it was demanding “strict respect for rules on the use of military and civilian arms and munitions” and warned that “all offenders will face the full force of the law”.
Soldiers in Ouagadougou began shooting at the presidential compound late on Thursday, sparking two nights of looting by soldiers.
Hundreds of traders rioted and set fire to the headquarters of the ruling party on Saturday, in protest against the soldiers looting their shops.
Burkina Faso ranks 161 out of 169 countries on the UN Human Development Index, a composite measure of the quality of life.