Burkina Faso government dissolved amid mutiny

April 17th, 2011 - 2:49 am ICT by BNO News  

OUAGADOUGOU, BURKINA FASO (BNO NEWS) — The president of Burkina Faso has dissolved the government amid a mutiny by members of his presidential guard in the capital city Ouagadougou.

Xinhua news agency reported that Blaise Compaore, 60, named a new army chief and fired the head of his presidential guard in the aftermath of the rampage on Thursday and Friday nights. Compaore said in a decree on Friday night that the government’s function will be taken over by “the secretaries-general of the ministries” before a new cabinet is appointed.

The shakeup puts Compaore’s rule of 23 years to test although he was re-elected in November with 80 percent of vote.

On Saturday, the government reimposed a dusk- to-dawn curfew after demonstrators set fire to the building of the National Assembly and the site of the ruling CDP, in protest against looting and vandalism in the city by mutineers, who went on a rampage in the past two days. The businessmen were dispersed by gendarmes and police soon afterwards, according to Xinhua news agency.

On Thursday night, Compaore reportedly left Ouagadougou for his home town Ziniare, after soldiers of two barracks opened fire in air in the vicinity of the presidential palace in protest against unpaid allowances. Government officials, however, disclosed that they had already been paid.

The West African country has suffered unrest since February, initially from student demonstrations and later protest by soldiers. In early April, the authorities lifted a three-day curfew to curb the spread of demonstrations across the country.

Compaore is the key mediator of the political crisis in Cote d’Ivoire and credited for the peace accord signed in Ouagadougou by the rival sides in 2007, which led to the presidential election months ago in Cote d’Ivoire. The mediator himself now plagued with a crisis at home is seen as a bad omen for the region, where several countries are politically unstable.

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