Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

More African Unrest Burkina Faso Suffers the Latest Military Takeover

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

More African Unrest Burkina Faso Suffers the Latest Military Takeover

Article excerpt

Burkina Faso, the former West African state of Upper Volta, was torn by unrest last week when its president, in office for 27 years, said that he would be seeking to amend the constitution to prolong his rule. Instead, he was forced to resign.

Blaise Campaore was considered a positive element when he took over the former French colony of 17 million in 1987 after 27 years of independence. He seized power in a military coup, then was elected president in four questionable contests.

He became an example of absolute power corrupting absolutely. The Burkinabe people lived in poverty while Mr. Campaore ruled without competition. Along with burning part of the parliament building last week, demonstrators in the capital Ouagadougou targeted the homes of the president's family. He had made his son, for example, head of the national oil company.

Sixty percent of the Burkinabe are Sunni Muslims, although Islamic radicalism does not appear to be an element in the uprising. …

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