Burkina Faso History

Burkina Faso History

The first information about the national territory goes back to the 16th century, possibly back to the 12th century. At that time, kingdoms were under the rule of the Mossi in the country. A well-organized administrative system and the tradition of the divine kingship with an influential Mogho Naba (emperor) at the helm prevented conquest and integration into the neighboring Sudan empires – with one exception: the conquest by the Kingdom of the Songhai, but this at the end of the 16th century ended.

The area was conquered by France in the late 19th century. The kingdom became a protectorate and many workers went to the fertile neighboring country Ivory Coast. The French colonial power undertook various restructuring and realignment of the protectorate in the decades that followed: in 1904 the country became part of the Haut-S¨¦n¨¦gal-Niger colony, in 1919 part of French West Africa and in 1932 between French Sudan and the Ivory Coast. Only after the Second World War in 1947 were the individual parts of the country brought together again.

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After attempts to integrate the former colonies into the French state, according to AbbreviationFinder, Burkina Faso gained autonomous status within the French community in 1958 and independence in 1960. When it declared independence in 1960, the country received the name Obervolta and was ruled by President Maurice Yam¨¦ogo for six years. Decades of political upheaval and unrest followed. In 1966, the authoritarian and corrupt regime was replaced by a military coup under General Sangoul¨¦ Lamizana. Military and civilian governments alternated at short intervals. The economic and supply situation could not be fundamentally improved under any of the rulers. In 1980 Lamizana was overthrown and Colonel Saye Zerbo became president. This was followed in 1983 by Captain Thomas Sankara, a leftist socialist. Massive social restructuring measures began and a so-called People ‘ s Welfare Committee (PSC) initiated radical reforms. The declared aim was to emancipate the underprivileged, such as women and farmers, and to reduce the still very strong influence of France and the neighboring country Ivory Coast. At the same time, Sankara fought rampant corruption and reduced the share of public sector salaries from 70% of government spending to 40% within four years. In 1984 the country name was changed to Burkina Faso (land of the incorruptible). The radical nature of his reforms made Sankara popular among large parts of the rural population, but some groups that initially supported Sankara’s policies became alienated from his policies.After several acts of sabotage, Sankara ruled without a cabinet and was shot in a 1987 coup. He was succeeded by his former political advisor Captain Blaise Compaor¨¦. Parties were admitted again over the next few years. In 1991 Blaise Compaor¨¦ was elected President with a turnout below 30% (the opposition had called for a boycott). Parliamentary elections were held in May 1992 for the first time in 14 years. In 1996 the ruling party ODP-MT (Organization pour la D¨¦mocratie Populaire-Mouvement du Travail) merged with ten previous opposition parties to the CDP (Congr¨¨s pour la D¨¦mocratie et le Progr¨¨s) and Blaise Compaor¨¦ was re-elected in 1998.

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A sign of the tense domestic situation at the end of the 1990s was the murder of Norbert Zongo, editor-in-chief of the newspaper “L’Ind¨¦pendant” and chairman of the “Society of Private Newspaper Publishers” (Soci¨¦t¨¦ des ¨¦diteurs de la presse priv¨¦e). Norbert Zongo was a keen critic of the government. One of the reasons for the murder was his efforts to investigate the murder of David Ou¨¦draogo, who died in prison in January 1998 as a result of torture. His death sparked considerable protests and social unrest. The government responded by setting up a commission of inquiry. In 1999, the police arrested three suspects in the David Ou¨¦draogo case, against whom charges were brought. No legal action was initially taken against those suspected of the murder of Norbert Zongo; In February 2001, after protests by international human rights organizations, charges were brought against the main suspect, a member of the Presidential Guard. In view of these facts and a number of other unresolved deaths of detainees and opposition figures, the economically weak country started the new millennium with major domestic problems. The CDP government alliance narrowly won the absolute majority in the 2002 parliamentary elections, but lost numerous seats compared to the previous elections. Compaor¨¦, who was allowed to run again in the 2005 presidential election, won a clear election. In the 2007 parliamentary elections, the CDP was able to increase significantly again. Overall, the democratic situation in the country has stabilized, although there are sometimes setbacks such as the military and police clashes in December 2006. In February 2008, violent protests and riots also occurred due to the sharp rise in the cost of living. In 2010 Compaor¨¦ successfully ran for re-election. In the parliamentary elections in December 2012, the CDP was able to defend its majority despite gains from the opposition.

Burkina Faso President