Friday, October 31, 2014

Another African Tyrant Pushed Out: Campaore Finally Resigns

Blaise Campaore
After two major days of violent protests, Burkina Faso's 27 year dictator Blaise Campaore who was notorious for sponsoring rebel movements in neighboring countries has been pushed to resign. Campaore who has ruled Burkina Faso since 1987 when Capt. Thomas Sankara was overthrown in a bloody coup, has had a largely uncontested challenge to his leadership since the late 80s by taking absolute control of all national institutions, including the police and the military.

Campaore's political demise came from moves to change the country's constitution allowing himself to rule for another five year term. The people of Burkina Faso, tired of his dictatorship, had rallied behind the opposition's call to protest against the proposed changes. Yesterday October 30, 2014, protesters had set the country's parliament ablaze and also torched the houses of many parliamentarians before heading for the President's abode where they were repelled by troops loyal to him.
On the Campaign Trail

Campaore, feeling the heat, had hastily gone on TV and promised to give up power in a year, allowing the military chief to impose a state of emergency. His decision to however cling on for another year was roundly condemned by the opposition who called again today for another round of protests. Already members of the military had started to side with the protesters as of yesterday.

It seems that Blaise Campaore finally came to his senses this afternoon and decided that it was better to leave when he still had some aces. Addressing the crowd of protesters who were milling outside the military headquarters, an army colonel Boureima Farta had earlier told the crowd that " as of today, Campaore is no longer in power." The crowd had erupted in widespread jubilation at the end of a greedy and repressive tyranny.
Campaore with Guinea's Moussa
Dadis Camara

Just Yesterday, the military had dissolved parliament but Campaore had rejected all calls to resign, pledging to stay in power till 2015. He had also pledged to hold an unconditional dialogue with all the country's opposition parties. The countries opposition were adamant in their refusal of any delaying tactics and were firm in their rejection of his offer of a dialogue. All they wanted was to see him gone. 

Unfortunately for Campaore, the writing had already been on the wall, but he was too power hungry to see it. The tyrant's time was up. Later today he had released a statement saying that he had vacated the Presidency and advocated for elections to be held in 90 day. 
New Head of State Gen Honore

In a sinister development, the head of the country's military Gen Honore Traore has stepped into the power vacancy and announced that he would take over as Head of State. How the opposition would react to a military takeover would be a subject of much conjecture. The African Union is now adamant in their refusal to recognize military coupists. All we can pray for is for peace to return to this brother West African country. Across the continent, another tyrant falls and we hope that lessons will continue to be learned by leaders in that area of the world.

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