|Picture taken from Femke van Zeijl|
Staggering Burkina? Did I miss something? I don't watch the news here on Ghanaian television, but I keep myself up to date on world news through the BBC and the Belgian VRT. Readers will have noticed that I am very much caught up in the unrest in the Middle-East, but how come I don't even know about trouble less than 200 kilometers north of Tamale?
I rechecked all the RSS-feeds I am following and there is nothing, nothing about Burkina Faso. So I had to ask Martin: What the hell is going on?
Martin was so kind to give me the following update:
We are at the edge of a revolution.
In February, Justin Zongo, a student was tortured to death in the police station of Koudougou but 'meningitis' was announced as the official cause of death. his colleagues around the whole nation took the streets in protest of this brutal act, even burning down police stations and other government buildings.
The government has taken measures, fired several responsibles and arrested the suspected police officers. The schools and universities are closed down for the time being.
Then the 22nd of March, the complete opposite happened: a group of soldiers had attacked a civilian (because one of the military men was interested in his girlfriend). The soldiers got punished to serve time in prison and their colleagues did not agree. Army men went into Ouagadougou by night and looted uncountable stores and gas stations. That same night, the convicted soldiers were set free again.
In his turn, this provoqued the judges and lawers who are now on a strike as their job is no longer taken seriously.
And the shop owners will also take the streets to protest that they (or their colleagues) have lost all that took years to build up. The government promised to compensate the damage, but a demonstration has already been planned. As the schools are about to get open again, the students will probably organise themselves as well. The air is getting quite hot here at the moment...
So Martin, thank you for the update. I am still wondering why the BBC didn't mention anything about this, don't they have any correspondent in Ouagadougou? Or is this seen as "not interesting"? The same about the current curfew here in Tamale which is now going into its third day. I have to admit, I don't feel threatened at all and it might be small on the world scale, but still I feel a bit insulted that this is not worth mentioning in any major newssite.
by this blog entry I now apply to become your new correspondent for Tamale, Ghana. I am not asking for any big allowance, I trustworthy internet connection would be more than enough to do the trick.
- End of 2010: Presidential elections: president Blaise Compaore gains another term in office.
- January: New government named, including a minister for political reforms, which are expected to include the lifting of limits on the terms the president can serve
- Feb 24: Four killed in student protests (the daily blitz 1, the daily blitz 2)
- Feb 28: Burkina Faso closes schools after demonstrations (the daily blitz)
- Mar 7: in Korsimoro: Students vandalize the civil prison (DirectScoop.net)
- Mar 7: across the country: Classes not resumed as promised, schools stay closed (DirectScoop.net)
- Mar 9: great peaceful demonstration planned for Friday 11 of March (DirectScoop.net)
- Mar 10: Angry students demand certain ministers to resign (DirectScoop.net)
- Mar 11: Violent student demonstrations against the oppression by police (DirectScoop.net, the daily blitz)
- Mar 12: Two policemen jailed over student death (the daily blitz 1, the daily blitz 2)
- Mar 14: Schools closed after demonstrations (the daily blitz 1, the daily blitz 2, VOA)
- Mar 15: A student meeting turns into violent clashes with security forces (DirectScoop.net)
- Mar 18: Solidarity amongst students facing the oppression (DirectScoop.net)
- Mar 22: Demonstrations and raids by the military in Ouagadougou (Le Faso.net, report in French; DirectScoop.net)
- Mar 23: Gunfire heard overnight in Ouagadougou (Reuters, New York Times, the daily blitz)
Confusion between the army and the government around the establishing of a couvre-feu (DirectScoop.net)
Huge protest movement in the Army (DirectScoop.net)
- Mar 24: Soldiers freed from prison after protests (AFP, TerraDaily)
- Mar 25: Judges begin an indefinite strike (DirectScoop.net)
Opposition demands president Blaise Compaore to resign (DirectScoopo.net)
- Mar 28: Mob prevents state TV from covering labour meeting (SeneGambia News)
Soldiers release one of the army men from prison by force (DirectScoop.net)
- Mar 29: Soldiers blast court with rocket (AFP, RNW, DirectScoop.net)
- Mar 30: Mayor Ouagadougou (Simon Compaore) hurt by angry soldiers (AFP, DirectScoop.net, the daily blitz)
Military demands president Blaise Compaore to step down "within 18 hours" (DirectScoop.net)
- Mar 31: President to meet army over protests (Reuters, DirectScoop.net)
- Apr 15: Mutiny over unpaid allowances at president Compaore barracks (BBC, their first report on the situation)
Later, the president ordered bonuses for soldiers, sacked the head of the army and dismissed the government in a bid to reassert his authority (BBC)
- Apr 16: Ouagadougou under curfew (BBC, VRT)
- Apr 18: army mutiny spreads to a fourth city (BBC)
Misery and corruption, an explosive cocktail (Afrik.com)
- Apr 22: president Compaore has appointed himself minister of defence (BBC)
- May 30: Soldiers have taken part in further protests, firing into the air during the night to press their demands for the payment of allowances (BBC)
- June 3: presidential guard take on mutineers: elite forces loyal to Compaore have for the first time intervened against rioting army mutineers (BBC)
- June 4: Bloody end to mutiny in Bobo Dioulasso: at least seven people including a young girl have been killed in an exchange of fire as pro-government forces quelled a mutiny. Elite forces had engaged the rioting mutineers for the first time, encircling them at their military base. (BBC)