Soldiers go on the rampage in Burkina Faso as lawlessness grips the country

Blaise Compaore - The ghost of Sankara is in town

Shops and market stalls have been pillaged as soldiers with guns fire into the air while angry vendors set fire to the  headquarters of  the ruling party in Burkina Faso. Soldiers took to the streets of Ouagadougou overnight, firing wildly shortly after President Blaise Compaore dissolved his government and named a new army chief on Friday in a bid to reassert his authority in the impoverished west African country. Gunshots could be heard in many areas of the city  as the soldiers mutiny spread to a third barracks located about five kilometers from the center of the city

Reports coming out of the country say the mutineers looted  goods and jewellery stores in the main city center as well as in other suburbs. In retaliation to what has happened to them,  hundreds of  vendors at Ouagadougou’s main market who had fallen victim to the looting took upon themselves to set fire to the headquarters of the ruling Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP) in the capital’s business district. Shortly after the attack, smoke could be seen coming from the building. About 400 traders decided to burn tyres and empty cardboard boxes left behind by the pillagers around the market, Rood Wooko, near city hall. The protesters said they were  not happy as they have been victims of the soldiers’ pillaging They also attacked an administration building, and reports are that they wrecked several offices and held the building’s sole occupant hostage

The  main city hall was also attacked by the protesters before turning on the CDP headquarters, burning more tyres and erecting barricades around Ouagadougou, including at the United Nations roundabout, which is  a major intersection. It was then that the Soldiers intervened, firing into the air to disperse the protesters. Banks remained closed amid the chaos, though they are normally opened for business on Saturdays Burkina Faso’s President, Blaise Compaore, has faced nationwide protests by young people, and other civil servants who are demanding change. There have also been reports that  his presidential guard, who are known to be among the best-paid soldiers, ended their mutiny only after they had received the housing allowances they were promised But there are other soldiers who continuing their uprising.

The episode prompted Compaore to dissolve the government of Prime Minister Tertius Zongo. He also named Colonel-Major Honore Nabere Traore as the new army chief to replace General Dominique Djindjere who has been sacked. Tens of thousands of people protested against the high cost of living in one of the biggest demonstrations seen in many years in Ouagadougou on Monday The president  himself who is a former army captain, got  re-elected in November winning  more than 80 percent of the vote, But it seems the ghost of Thomas Sankara, the former Head of State whose assassination saw Compaore take power, has finally come to hunt him!

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