Burkina Faso junta faced with protests over exiled ex-leader

Jul 7, 2022, 11:26 PM | Updated: Jul 8, 2022, 11:51 am

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — Protesters in Burkina Faso demonstrated Friday against the return of former President Blaise Compaore, as the ruling junta faltered in its efforts to hold a summit on the crisis of jihadi violence.

Compaore, the longtime military strongman ousted by a popular insurrection in 2014, returned to Burkina Faso Thursday to attend the unprecedented meeting with other former leaders.

Junta leader Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba called the meeting which was to include five former presidents. But on Friday only two ex-leaders showed up for the meeting: Compaore and Jean-Baptiste Ouedraogo, who ruled the country for nine months between 1982 and 1983 when it was known as Upper Volta.

The meeting devised by Damiba, who had himself appointed interim president, was an attempt to discuss Burkina Faso’s future amid escalating jihadi violence linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group that has killed thousands and displaced nearly 2 million people.

Former President Roch Marc Christian Kabore who was ousted by Damiba in January, was prevented from attending by protesters who surrounded his house, according to internal security reports for aid workers seen by The Associated Press.

Riot police gathered outside Kabore’s house Friday to control the protesters.

“If Roch Marc Christian Kabore still has some dignity he should normally refuse to go to this meeting. So I am in front of his doors and I said he must not move,” said Ahmed Ki, a Kabore supporter.

Others in the capital protested the return of Compaore, who ruled the country with an iron fist for nearly 30 years. Although in exile in neighboring Ivory Coast, a Burkina Faso court recently convicted him of complicity in the murder in 1987 of former President Thomas Sankara and sentenced him to life in prison.

Lawyers for the Sankara family have called for his arrest.

“Mr. Blaise Compaore was sentenced to life imprisonment by the trial of the military court of Ouagadougou and he is still subject to an arrest warrant issued against him by the military court,” said Benewende Stanislas Sankara, spokesman for the Sankara family.

Local rights organizations warn that by giving Compaore impunity the junta has taken an “extremely serious step,” that undermines the rule of law in Burkina Faso, Chrysogone Zougmore, president of the Burkinabe Movement for Human Rights, told The Associated Press.

In a statement on state television, Damiba defended his decision to allow Compaore to visit the country.

“To the Burkinabe who have expressed their opinions against our approach, we tell them that the process is not made to consecrate impunity, but to contribute to the search for solutions for a Burkina Faso of peace and cohesion,” he said.

The junta will continue discussions with those who were unable to attend the meeting, he said.

The junta’s message of “forgive and forget” isn’t going to be accepted easily by the public, said Laith Alkhouri, CEO of Intelonyx Intelligence Advisory.

“This urgent meeting has proven unsuccessful thus far, and it is, if anything, eroding the already fragile public trust in the governing junta,” he said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - An Afghan refugee boy carries a bag of mangoes on his shoulder in Karachi, Pakistan, Sunday,...
Associated Press

Amnesty: Creditors should provide debt relief to Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — International creditors should provide debt relief to Sri Lanka to alleviate suffering as its people endure hunger, worsening poverty and shortages of basic supplies, Amnesty International said in a statement Wednesday. For months, Sri Lanka has been in the grip of a dire economic crisis and the country has defaulted […]
1 day ago
FILE - The logo of the Organization of the Petroleoum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is seen outside of...
Associated Press

OPEC+ weighs large oil cutback to boost sagging prices

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The OPEC+ alliance of oil-exporting countries on Wednesday will debate a potentially large cut in the amount of crude it ships to the global economy — a move that could help Russia weather a looming European ban on oil imports and raise gasoline prices for U.S. drivers just ahead of national […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Pakistan’s army chief meets with US defense secretary

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s powerful military chief met Wednesday in Washington with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other security and government officials, the military said. Qamar Javed Bajwa’s trip to the United States comes weeks before he’s expected to retire after an extended six-year tenure. Although Pakistan has been ruled by the elected civilian […]
1 day ago
A malnourished child sits at a clinic in Dollow, Somalia, on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. Within week...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: A look at famine and its toll as Somalia at risk

DOLLOW, Somalia (AP) — Within weeks, a famine could be declared in Somalia, affecting more than 850,000 people in two of the country’s worst drought-affected areas plus thousands of people in displacement camps. Such a declaration by the United Nations and partners is rare and a sign of the dire consequences from the worst drought […]
1 day ago
A woman holds a child at a clinic in Dollow, Somalia, on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022.  Somalia is in ...
Associated Press

‘So many children dying’: Somalia drought brings famine near

DOLLOW, Somalia (AP) — A man in a donkey cart comes wheeling through the dust, carrying two small, silent boys. The sky is overcast. It could rain. It won’t. It hasn’t for a very long time. Mohamed Ahmed Diriye is 60 years old, and he’s completing the grimmest journey of his life. He set off […]
1 day ago
Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss, foreground and Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng look ...
Associated Press

UK’s Truss tries to shake off dismal start with party speech

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — British Prime Minister Liz Truss will say Wednesday that all change brings disruption as she tries to convince her Conservative Party — and the country — that the turmoil unleashed by her tax-cutting economic agenda will bring more prosperity in the end. Truss is due to close a tumultuous Conservative conference […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Burkina Faso junta faced with protests over exiled ex-leader