Burkina Faso presidential guard should be disbanded, panel says

2015-09-15 13:19


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Ouagadougou - Burkina Faso's powerful presidential guard should be dismantled, according to a commission charged with proposing reforms after a popular uprising toppled the West African nation's long-time president.

The elite unit, known locally as the RSP, was a key pillar of president Blaise Compaore's regime before mass demonstrations forced him to flee the country last October, ending 27 years of rule.

Its interference in the interim administration that followed Compaore's ouster, including attempts to force the prime minister's resignation of over his plans to reduce its size and pay, provoked further protests and prompted the authorities to call for a review of the RSP's role.

In a report submitted to Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida, himself a former commander in the RSP, the national reconciliation and reform commission on Monday described the 1 200 troop strong unit as "an army within an army".

It called for the regiment to be broken up and its members redeployed within the framework of a broader reform of the military.

The commission said responsibility for ensuring the security of Burkina Faso's president and state institutions should be conferred upon special units of the police and gendarmes.

A decision on the RSP's future will most likely wait until after October 11 elections when voters will choose a new president and parliament to restore democratic rule.

Burkina Faso's army did not intervene to save Compaore when tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets to protest against the president's attempts to push through constitutional changes to extend his rule.

However, the RSP has been accused by rights groups, including Amnesty International, of shooting and killing protesters during the uprising.

Read more on:    yacouba isaac zida  |  burkina faso  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.