30. Upper Volta/Burkina Faso (1960-present)

 

Pre-Crisis Phase (August 5, 1960-January 1, 1966): Upper Volta formally achieved its independence from France on August 5, 1960.  Maurice Yaméogo was elected as president in 1960. President Maurice Yaméogo was re-elected without opposition on October 3, 1965.  Legislative elections were held on November 7, 1965, and the Voltaic Democratic Union – African Democratic Rally (Union Démocratique Voltaique-UDV – Rassemblement Démocratique Africain-RDA) won 75 out of 75 seats in the National Assembly.  Union workers demonstrated against the government in Ouagadougou beginning on December 31, 1965.

Crisis Phase (January 2, 1966-July 7, 1978):  President Maurice Yaméogo declared a state-of-emergency on January 2, 1966.  President Maurice Yaméogo resigned on January 4, 1966, and Lt. Colonel Aboubakar Sangoulé Lamizana took control of the government.  Lt. Colonel Lamizana suspended the constitution, and dissolved the National Assembly on January 5, 1966.  Lt. Colonel Lamizana assumed the presidency on January 7, 1966.  President Lamizana prohibited political party activities on September 21, 1966.  A new constitution was approved in a referendum on June 14, 1970, and the constitution went into effect on June 21, 1970.  Legislative elections were held on December 20, 1970, and the Voltaic Democratic Union – African Democratic Rally (Union Démocratique Voltaique-UDV – Rassemblement Démocratique Africain-RDA) won 37 out of 57 seats in the National Assembly.  The African Regroupment Party (Parti du Regroupement AfricainPRA) won 12 seats in the National Assembly.  Gerard Kango Ouedraogo of the UDV-RDA formed a government as prime minister on February 18, 1971.  President Lamizana dismissed the government of Prime Minister Kango Ouedraogo on February 8, 1974.  President Lamizana dissolved the National Assembly and suspended the constitution on February 8, 1974.   President Lamizana appointed himself as prime minister on February 11, 1974. President Lamizana dissolved his cabinet on January 29, 1976, and announced a new cabinet on February 9, 1976. President Lamizana lifted the ban on political party activity on October 1, 1977.  A new constitution was approved in a referendum held on November 27, 1977.  Legislative elections were held on April 30, 1978, and the Voltaic Democratic Union – African Democratic Rally (Union Démocratique Voltaique-UDV – Rassemblement Démocratique Africain-RDA) won 28 out of 57 seats in the National Assembly. The National Union for the Defence of Democracy (Union Nationale pour la Defense de la Democratie – UNDD) won 13 seats in the National Assembly.  Aboubakar Sangoulé Lamizana was elected as president with 56 percent of the vote in the second round of presidential elections on May 29, 1978. Joseph Issoufou Conombo of the VDU-ADA formed a government as prime minister on July 7, 1978.

Post-Crisis Phase (July 8, 1978-November 24, 1980):

Crisis Phase (November 25, 1980-June 16, 1992):  President Aboubakar Sangoulé Lamizana was deposed in a military coup led by Colonel Saye Zerbo on November 25, 1980, and the Military Committee of Recovery for National Progress (Comite Militaire de Redressment pout le Progress National – CMRPN) headed by Colonel Zerbo took control of the government on November 26, 1980. The CMRPN suspended the 1977 constitution, banned political parties, and dissolved the National Assembly on November 26, 1980. Colonel Zerbo formed a government as prime minister on December 7, 1980. Colonel Zerbo was deposed in a military coup on November 6-7, 1982, resulting in the deaths of some 20 individuals. The People’s Salvation Council (Conseil du Salut du Peuple – CSP) headed by Major Jean-Baptiste Ouedraogo took control of the government on November 8, 1982. Captain Thomas Sankara was appointed as prime minister on January 10, 1983. Major Ouedraogo was deposed in a military coup led by Captain Sankara on August 4, 1983, resulting in the deaths of 13 individuals. The National Revolutionary Council (Conseil National de la Revolution – CNR) chaired by Captain Sankara took control of the government on August 5, 1983.  Colonel Muammar Gadaffi of Libya expressed support for Captain Sankara on August 6, 1983. The government suppressed a military rebellion on August 9-10, 1983, resulting in the deaths of two individuals. Captain Sankara formed a government as head-of-state on August 24, 1983. The government suppressed a military rebellion led by Colonel Didier Tiendrebeogo on May 27, 1984, and seven military officers were executed for their involvement in the military rebellion on June 11, 1984. Captain Sankara proclaimed the change in the name of the country to Burkina Faso on August 4, 1984. Three government soldiers were killed in a bomb explosion by government opponents at a military barracks in Ouagadougou on May 31, 1985. Captain Sankara was killed during a military coup led by Captain Blaise Compaoré on October 15, 1987, resulting in the deaths of at least 80 individuals. President Gnassingbe Eyadema of Togo expressed support for Captain Compaoré on October 26, 1987. Captain Guy Lamoussa Sayogo, deputy commander of Bodo-Dioulasso military region, was killed by military personnel on October 28, 1988. On December 28-29, 1988, seven military personnel were executed for their involvement in the killing of Captain Sayogo. The Organization for People’s Democracy-Labor Movement (Organisation pour la democratie populaire – Mouvement du travail – ODP-MT) was established on April 15, 1989. The government suppressed a rebellion led by Major Jean-Baptiste Boukary Lingani and Captain Henri Zongo on September 18-19, 1989. The leaders of the rebellion and two other individuals were executed on September 19, 1989.  The government suppressed an attempted military rebellion on December 24-25, 1989, resulting in the executions of seven individuals and arrest of some 30 individuals.  Captain Compaoré formed a transitional government on June 16, 1990. A new constitution was approved in a referendum on June 2, 1991.  Blaise Compaoré of the Popular Front (PF) was elected president without opposition on December 1, 1991. Opposition political parties, which had formed the Coordination of Democratic Forces (CDF), had boycotted the presidential election.  The governments of France and Tunisia sent observers to monitor the presidential election. Oumarou Clement Ouedraogo, secretary-general of the opposition Burkinabe Labor Party (BLP), was assassinated in Ouagadougou on December 9, 1991.  Legislative elections were held on May 24, 1992, and the Organization for People’s Democracy-Labor Movement (Organisation pour la democratie populaire – Mouvement du travail – ODP-MT) won 78 out of 107 seats in the National Assembly.  The National Convention of Progressive Patriots-Social Democratic Party (CNPP-PSD) won eight seats in the National Assembly.  President Compaoré dissolved the transitional government on June 15, 1992, and appointed Youssef Ouédraogo as prime minister on June 16, 1992.

Post-Crisis Phase (June 17, 1992-February 14, 2011):  Prime Minister Youssef Ouédraogo resigned on March 17, 1994, and Marc Christian Kaboré was appointed as prime minister on March 20, 1994.  Students demonstrated against the government in Ouagadougou on May 9, 1995, resulting in the deaths of two individuals.  Prime Minister Kaboré resigned on February 6, 1996, and Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo was appointed as prime minister on February 7, 1996. On February 6, 1996, the Congress of Democracy and Progress (Congres pour la Democratie et le Progres – CDP) was established by President Compaore as a result of a merger of the Organization for People’s Democracy-Labor Movement (Organisation pour la democratie populaire – Mouvement du travail – ODP-MT) and other political parties. Five opposition political parties merged to form the Party for Democracy and Progress (Parti pour le Democratie et le Progress – PDP) on March 29, 1996. Legislative elections were held on May 11, 1997, and the CDP won 97 out of 111 seats in the National Assembly. The PDP won six seats in the National Assembly. Opposition political parties claimed election fraud.  The Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) sent observers to monitor the legislative elections.  President Compaoré of the CDP was re-elected with 88 percent of the vote on November 15, 1998. Opposition political parties had boycotted the presidential election. The European Union (EU) sent nine observers headed by Alain Terrenoire of France to monitor the presidential election.  The Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) sent seven observers from seven countries headed by Salek Ould Abdel Jelil of Mauritania to monitor the presidential election from November 9 to November 19, 1998.  Prime Minister Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo resigned on January 9, 1999, and President Compaoré re-appointed Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo as prime minister on January 11, 1999.  Municipal elections were held on September 24, 2000, and the CDP won 802 out of 1,100 municipal council seats throughout the country.  Opposition political parties boycotted the municipal elections.  Prime Minister Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo resigned on November 6, 2000, and Paramanga Ernest Yonli was appointed as prime minister on November 7, 2000.  Legislative elections were held on May 5, 2002, and the CDP won 57 out of 111 seats in the National Assembly.  Opposition political parties won 54 seats in the National Assembly.  The Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) sent observers to monitor the legislative elections.  On October 7, 2003, government police arrested 12 individuals for plotting to overthrow the government.  President Compaoré was re-elected with 80 percent of the vote on November 13, 2005.  The African Union (AU) sent observers to monitor the presidential election.  Government police and military personnel clashed in Ouagadougou on December 20-26, 2006, resulting in the deaths of three government soldiers and two government police officers.  Legislative elections were held on May 6, 2007, and the Congress of Democracy and Progress (Congres pour la Democratie et le Progres – CDP) won 73 out of 111 seats in the National Assembly.  The Alliance for Democracy and Federation–African Democratic Rally (Alliance pour la Démocratie et la Fédération–Rassemblement Démocratique Africain-ADF-RDA) won 14 seats in the National Assembly.  The African Union (AU), West African Economic and Monetary Union (Union économique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine – UEMOA), and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sent observers to monitor the legislative elections.  Tertius Zongo replaced Paramanga Ernest Yonli as prime minister on June 11, 2007.  Protesters attacked government buildings in Ouagadougou on February 29, 2008.  President Blaise Compaoré was re-elected with 80 percent of the vote on November 21, 2010.  The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sent 75 observers led by Koffi Sama of Togo to monitor the presidential election from November 19 to November 23, 2010.

Crisis Phase (February 15, 2011-present):  Government soldiers mutinied over pay issues in Ouagadougou and other cities in Burkina Faso beginning on February 15, 2011.  As the result of the death of a student, Justin Zongo, in Koudougou on February 20, 2011, violent protests by students and others occurred throughout the country.  Three civilians, including two students, were killed in clashes with government security forces in Koudougou on February 23, 2011.  Three individuals, including two students and one government policeman, were killed in clashes in Poa and Kindi on February 24, 2011.  On March 11, 2011, three government policemen were arrested in connection with the death of Justin Zongo, who had been questioned and allegedly beaten by government police on several occasions prior to his death on February 20th.  The government ordered the closure of all universities in the country on March 13, 2011.  Protesting students set fire to the headquarters of the Congress of Democracy and Progress (Congres pour la Democratie et le Progres – CDP) in the city of Yako in the province of Passoré on April 11, 2011.  Tens of thousands of individuals demonstrated against high food prices in Ouagadougou on April 14, 2011.  Members of President Blaise Compaoré’s presidential guard and other government soldiers mutinied in Ouagadougou beginning on April 14-15, 2011.  President Blaise Compaoré dismissed the government of Prime Minister Tertius Zongo on April 15, 2011, and Ambassador Luc-Adolphe Tiao was appointed as prime minister on April 18, 2011.  President Blaise Compaoré appointed himself as Defense Minister on April 21, 2011.  On April 29, 2011, President Blaise Compaoré announced that the military agreed to end their mutinies, but the mutinies continued.  On April 30, 2011, members of opposition political parties demonstrated in Ouagadougou and demanded the resignation of President Blaise Compaoré.  Secondary school teachers went on strike on May 16-20, 2011, and students went on strike in support of their teachers in Ouadagoudou on May 24, 2011.  Three individuals were killed in protests by students and government soldiers in Ouagadougou on May 24, 2011.  The government and teachers’  union reached an agreement on May 25, 2011.  Government soldiers mutinied in Tenkodogo on May 27, 2011 and in Bobo-Dioulasso on June 1, 2011.  Seven individuals, including six soldiers and one young girl, were killed in clashes between pro-government soldiers (including a unit of the presidential guard) and rebel soldiers in Bobo-Dioulasso on June 3, 2011.  Fifty-seven soldiers were arrested for their involvement in the Bobo-Dioulasso mutiny.  The government replaced all thirteen regional governors on June 9, 2011.  On July 7, 2011, President Blaise Compaoré issued a decree dismissing some 566 government soldiers for their involvement in the mutinies.  On August 23, 2011, a court found two government policemen guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to ten-year prison terms for the February 20th death of Justin Zongo.   The National Assembly approved legislation granting amnesty to President Blaise Compaoré and previous heads of state on June 11, 2012.  The vote in the National Assembly was boycotted by opposition political parties.  Legislative elections were held on December 2, 2012, and the Congress of Democracy and Progress (Congres pour la Democratie et le Progres – CDP) won 70 out of 111 seats in the National Assembly.  The Alliance for Democracy and Federation–African Democratic Rally (Alliance pour la Démocratie et la Fédération–Rassemblement Démocratique Africain-ADF-RDA) won 19 seats in the National Assembly.  The African Union (AU) sent 37 observers led by Bernard Makuza of Burundi to monitor the legislative elections from November 24, 2012 to December 4, 2012.  The ECOWAS sent observers to monitor the legislative elections.  Several former members of the Congress of Democracy and Progress (Congres pour la Democratie et le Progres – CDP) established the Movement of People for Progress (MPP) on January 25, 2014.  On May 31, 2014, several thousand individuals demonstrated in Ouagadougou against a proposed referendum that would lift the two-term limit and permit President Blaise Compaoré to run for re-election in 2015.  Negotiations between representatives of the government and opposition regarding proposed constitutional changes ended without resolution on October 7, 2014.  On October 21, 2014, the government announced that it would submit a bill in the National Assembly to remove the two-term limit for the presidency.  On October 30, 2014, President Blaise Compaoré declared a state of emergency following three days of violent protests that had resulted in at least three deaths.  On October 30, 2014, General Honore Traore announced the dissolution of the National Assembly and the creation of a transitional government.  President Blaise Compaoré announced his resignation from office, and General Honore Traore took over as head of state on October 21, 2014.

[Sources:  Africa Diary, July 9-15, 1970, February 26-March 4, 1974, July 23-29, 1978, February 5-11, 1983, March 4-10, 1984, November 4-10, 1984, November 18-24, 1984, January 15-21, 1985; Africa Research Bulletin (ARB), February 1-28, 1974, September 1-30, 1977, May 1-31, 1978, November 1-30, 1980, November 1-30, 1982, August 1-31, 1983, June 1-30, 1984, November 15, 1987, February 15, 1989, October 15, 1989; African Union (AU) statement, December 4, 2012; Agence France Presse (AFP), June 4, 2011; Associated Press (AP), November 16, 1998, November 19, 1998; Banks and Muller, 1998, 130-135; British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), November 15, 1998, January 9, 1999, May 13, 2002, October 7, 2003, November 13, 2005, November 14, 2005, November 18, 2005, December 21, 2006, December 27, 2006, November 26, 2010, April 15, 2011, April 16, 2011, April 18, 2011, April 21, 2011, June 3, 2011, June 4, 2011, August 24, 2011, June 12, 2012, October 30, 2014, October 31, 2014; Degenhardt, 1988, 29-30; Dupoy and Dupoy, 1977, 1327; Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) press release, November 19, 2010, November 23, 2010; Facts on File, January 13-19, 1966, February 16, 1974; Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), December 3, 1980, November 8, 1982, November 10, 1982, November 12, 1982, August 5, 1983, August 10, 1983, August 11, 1983, October 16, 1987, October 19, 1987, October 20, 1987, October 21, 1987, October 22, 1987, December 3, 1991, December 10, 1991, April 1, 1996; Jessup, 1998, 95-96; Keesing’s Record of World Events, January 22-29, 1966, July 5-12, 1969, February 13-20, 1971, March 4-10, 1974, February 27, 1976, January 20, 1978, July 21, 1978, September 29, 1978, June 5, 1981, April 1983, November 1983, July 1984, May 1986, October 1987, October 1988, April 1989, September 1989, December 1991, May 1992, March 1994, May 1997, June 1997, November 1998; Langer, 1972, 1265; New York Times (NYT), October 16, 1987, October 17, 1987, October 27, 1987, September 20, 1989, November 1, 1989, December 26, 1989, February 29, 2008, February 24, 2011, March 9, 2011, March 10, 2011, March 23, 2011, April 15, 2011, April 16, 2011, April 28, 2011, April 29, 2011, April 30, 2011, May 9, 2011, May 24, 2011, June 3, 2011, August 22, 2011, October 30, 2014, October 31, 2014; Panafrican News Agency (PANA), November 15, 1998, January 14, 1999; Reuters, November 18, 1998, September 30, 2000, November 7, 2000, January 25, 2014, May 31, 2014, June 21, 2014, October 7, 2014, October 21, 2014, October 25, 2014, October 28, 2014, October 29, 2014, October 30, 2014; Voice of America (VOA), March 13, 2011, December 2, 2012.]