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Protesters Gather Again in Burkina Faso

Protesters Gather Again in Burkina Faso

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — Anti-government protesters began gathering in Burkina Faso’s capital again Friday, a day after their violent demonstrations pushed the country’s longtime president to agree to relinquish power next year.

Protesters stormed the parliament Thursday to prevent lawmakers from voting to allow President Blaise Compaore, in power for 27 years, to seek another term in office.

In response to the chaos, a brief period of martial law was imposed during which the military announced the dissolution of parliament and promised an interim government that would include all parties. Compaore later said he would lead that transitional government until elections next year and then relinquish power.

But that concession may not be enough to satisfy the opposition in this West African country. Protesters were gathering again Friday morning in a central square in the capital, but few security forces could be seen.

It was not immediately clear if the protesters would press any new demands. On Thursday they sacked and burned the parliament, attacked Cabinet ministers’ houses and looted around the country.

The United States welcomed Compaore’s announcement that there would be a democratic transition.

But the eruption of violence and images of cars on fire and plumes of black smoke in the capital of Ouagadougou also alarmed many in the international community. The U.N. special representative for West Africa is traveling to the country on Friday.


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