Thousands of demonstrators march to protest against security breakdown in Burkina Faso

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Ouagadougou on Saturday (27 November), demanding the departure of President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, as the country's security situation continues to deteriorate. 

The demonstrations quickly escalated into a confrontation between the security forces and the demonstrators. Police fired tear gas at the few hundred demonstrators who wanted to reach Revolution Square, in the city centre. Some young people set fire to tyres and fired projectiles at riot control units. Others vandalised part of the registry office after trying to burn down the Ouagadougou town hall building.

Popular disturbances have raged unabated for two weeks in Burkina Faso, triggered by the worst attack on record against the army on 14 November. At least 57 people, including 53 gendarmes, were killed in Inata, in the north of the country in amid a jihadist surge of violence.

Speaking on national television on Thursday night,  president Kabore promised a cabinet reshuffle and to put an end to the “dysfunctions” within the army. “I will watch scrupulously, more than in the past, on the questions of logistics, bonuses and reinforcement of the operational capacities of our combatant forces”, he promised, announcing “disciplinary consequences” in the near future, following the Inata attack.

The government's decision to extend the suspension of mobile internet access, which constitutes 70% of national traffic, “for a period of 96 hours”, or eight days of cut-off, “for security reasons”, has added to the frustrations of the population in this poor Sahel country. “We have never seen this in Burkina Faso, we are prevented from informing ourselves and from working”, said one protester whose livelihood depends on online sales. 

The United Nations’ special envoy to West Africa said on Thursday he was concerned about the situation in Burkina Faso and warned against any military takeover, following coups in three neighbouring countries over the past year.

source: commonspace.eu with Le Monde (Paris), Al Jazeera (Doha) and agencies.
photo: A gendarme stands as demonstrators protest against President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré in Ouagadougou; courtesy of Al Jazeera.

Related articles

Editor's choice
News
Borrell tells the European Parliament that the situation in Afghanistan was critical, but the EU will remain engaged

Borrell tells the European Parliament that the situation in Afghanistan was critical, but the EU will remain engaged

Borrell underlined that the European Union will make every effort to support the peace process and to remain a committed partner to the Afghan people. "Of course, we will have to take into account the evolving situation, but disengagement is not an option.  We are clear on that: there is no alternative to a negotiated political settlement, through inclusive peace talks.
Editor's choice
News
International community calls on Russia to withdraw from Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

International community calls on Russia to withdraw from Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

EU member states and other countries in the international community have issued a statement on the situation around the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, and have called on Russia to withdraw its troops from the territory of the plant. In a statement the 42 countries called on Russia to immediately withdraw its military forces and all other unauthorised personnel from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, its immediate surroundings, and all of Ukraine so that the operator and the Ukrainian authorities can resume their sovereign responsibilities within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders and the legitimate operating staff can conduct their duties without outside interference, threat, or unacceptably harsh working conditions. This will also enable the IAEA to carry out its verification pursuant to Ukraine’s safeguards obligations under safe and secure conditions and in a timely manner. The statement said that the international community will hold Russia accountable for its aggression, and Russia must bear full responsibility for its unlawful actions in Ukraine.

Popular

Editor's choice
News
International community calls on Russia to withdraw from Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

International community calls on Russia to withdraw from Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

EU member states and other countries in the international community have issued a statement on the situation around the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, and have called on Russia to withdraw its troops from the territory of the plant. In a statement the 42 countries called on Russia to immediately withdraw its military forces and all other unauthorised personnel from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, its immediate surroundings, and all of Ukraine so that the operator and the Ukrainian authorities can resume their sovereign responsibilities within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders and the legitimate operating staff can conduct their duties without outside interference, threat, or unacceptably harsh working conditions. This will also enable the IAEA to carry out its verification pursuant to Ukraine’s safeguards obligations under safe and secure conditions and in a timely manner. The statement said that the international community will hold Russia accountable for its aggression, and Russia must bear full responsibility for its unlawful actions in Ukraine.