Burkina Faso troops and cops riot, loot

2011-04-18 16:56


Ouagadougou - A mutiny in Burkina Faso spread as soldiers went on the rampage in northern Kaya, residents said on Monday, even after President Blaise Compaore's government warned they would face the law.

Soldiers and paramilitary police poured into the streets of Kaya late on Sunday and shot into the air until around 06:00 on Monday, residents said.

It was the first time police had taken part in the uprising that began in Ouagadougou late on Thursday. An official said they were demanding their wages and were to be paid on Monday.

Kaya was the fourth town to be affected in the landlocked west African state after Ouagadougou and the small centres of Po and Tenkodogo, in the southwest and southeast.

The mutinous forces in Kaya, north of the capital, torched the home of a chief of an army regiment and ransacked that of the regional military chief, residents told AFP by telephone.

The uprising erupted on Thursday as mutineers ran riot in the capital, demanding better pay and housing and food benefits.

They "have not received their pay for the month of March," said a source close to the general staff.

"They also want their bonuses to be aligned on those of the presidential guard," he said, adding, "the wages will be paid today".

Government dissolved

To try to control the situation, veteran leader Compaore, who has ruled for more than two decades, dissolved his government and on Friday named a new head of the armed forces.

His security ministry warned on Sunday that mutinous soldiers will face "the full force of the law".

"For several days, soldiers and civilians... have been using firearms in violation of regulations," the ministry said in a statement. "This state of affairs will not be tolerated in a state with the rule of law."

The ministry said it was demanding "strict respect for rules on the use of military and civilian arms and munitions" and warned that "all offenders will face the full force of the law".

Ouagadougou, which had been shut down since Thursday because of the unrest, was returning to normal on Monday, an AFP journalist said, with banks and public offices opening.

At the central market, traders were present but they did not open their stalls. On Saturday they had violently protested against the soldiers who had looted and burned many stalls and shops during the rampage.

The violence in the capital had seen at least 45 people admitted to hospital with injuries with a number of rapes also reported, a hospital source told AFP on Saturday.

Two opposition parties, the Union for Renaissance/Sankarist Party (UNIR/PS) and the Front of Social Forces (FFS), said their headquarters had been set ablaze by unidentified men during the weekend unrest.

Shops looted

Po and Tenkodogo were also calm on Monday after soldiers had opened fire in the streets and looted shops at the weekend, residents said.

In Tenkodogo soldiers had left their army camp at the weekend and went to the central market, but did not take anything, though traders shut up shop because of fear, residents said.

The soldiers fired in the air with assault rifles and "took away cars and motorcycles from private citizens", one said.

A security source said on Sunday that negotiations were under way between the authorities and the mutineers after the revolt, which was started by troops of Compaore's presidential guard.

Po, 143km from Ouagadougou and near the border with Ghana, is symbolic for Compaore, who once headed the military national centre of training and command (CNEC) there.

It was from the CNEC that as a captain Compaore and other commandos launched a military coup in 1983 against president Jean-Baptiste Ouedraogo and put their friend and comrade-in-arms, Captain Thomas Sankara, in power in 1983.

But Sankara was killed in 1987 when Compaore led a coup against him and became head of state, going on to win all presidential elections since from 1991 to 2010.

Read more on:    burkina faso  |  west africa

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Fire white civil servants in W Cape - Cosatu

If the ANC wins the Western Cape in the 7 May general election, Cosatu will ask it to fire more than half the white senior civil servants.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Thursday Epping - 12:37 PM
    Road name: N7 Vanguard Drive
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bofors Circle - expect DELAYS
  • Thursday Newlands - 12:22 PM
    Road name: M3 Northbound
    DELAYS on Wynberg Hill
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Tab P7500 10.1" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 gives you a better experience for...

From R4999.00

I'm shopping for:


You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow things...read more

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.