A strange week! Most of it spent at home.

Schedule of the events in Burkina

Monday we were in the office, talking a lot about the march which was called for on Tuesday. On Sunday we had cancelled the meeting planned with the villagers in Bobo for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tuesday we all stayed home. More than 1.000.000 people marched in Ouagadougou and 500.000 in Bobo Dioulasso against the change of the constitution. This change would have allowed the current president Blaise Compoare to stay for another 3 terms of 5 years. He was already in power for 27 years!!!

Wednesday, we spent a couple of hours in the office and then decided to go back home due to the uncertainty in the street. Unions had called for a strike and marches on this day.

Thursday (the day the vote was plan at the parliament for the change of constitution) the parliament was invaded and the protesters started to rampage the buildings and houses of the people linked with the president. They marched also towards the presidential palace. There was a standoff with the presidential guards (mainly mercenaries). Late in the evening, the president made a speech to announce that he had understood and that he was going to stay president only until the elections of 2015.

Friday, the chief of the armed forces declared he was the new boss. The crowd did not wanted him since he is a man of the president. Then the president announced that he had resigned. In the afternoon a colonel (he was number 2 of the presidential guard) declared he was the chief???? Rumors came out saying that the president had fled towards Ghana. Later in the evening the colonel came out on TV to repeat that he was in charge.

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The front of the town hall of Bobo Dioulasso

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The back of the town hall

Saturday, the people are going back to some normal life. The situation at the top level is still not clear, but young people are cleaning the streets. The ex-president has now been spotted in Ivory Coast???

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Young people cleaning up in front of the town hall.

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The street close to our house on Saturday morning, busy as on a normal day.

Sunday, the civil society and the political parties do not want to be under a military leader during the transition period leading to a new election. They have called for a demonstration this morning.

More confusion, now there are 2 people who claim they will lead the transition. Not getting simpler. The disappearance of the ex-president happened so fast that nobody was prepared.

To be continued………

Some information on the protesters

Besides the political parties from the opposition, the main driving force of the protest came from the civil society, especially young people very well organized.

One of them is called the “balai citoyen” (citizen broom). They are active since over one year and are able to mobilize all the young people around them who are left on the side by the system. They are well organized and they are the ones who are cleaning the street.

I am very impressed by their determination. I really hope that the new people who will take care of Burkina will not disappoint them. If they do, it will really be a revolution.

Citation of the week

« Un dictateur n’est qu’une fiction. Son pouvoir se dissémine en réalité entre de nombreux dictateurs anonymes et irresponsables dont la tyrannie et la corruption deviennent bientôt insupportables. »Gustave le Blon (sociologue)
“A dictator is only a fiction. His power is spreading in reality among many anonymous and irresponsible dictators whose tyranny and corruption soon become unbearable. “Gustave Blon (sociologiste)

« L’ignorance et la bêtise du peuple font la force du dictateur. » Jdan Noritiov
“The ignorance and stupidity of the people are the strength of the dictator.”Jdan Noritiov

Take care,

Hervé