Burkina PM accuses strikers of causing anarchy

2015-04-02 21:12
Burkinese Lieutenant-Colonel and interim leader Isaac Zida. (Issouf Sanogo AFP)

Burkinese Lieutenant-Colonel and interim leader Isaac Zida. (Issouf Sanogo AFP)

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Ouagadougou - Burkina Faso's prime minister has accused groups involved in labour strikes rocking the landlocked west African country of creating "a climate of anarchy".

Isaac Zida, who became prime minister soon after a 2014 uprising, lashed out at the strikers in a television interview broadcast late on Wednesday.

Strikes have been frequent in recent months in Burkina Faso, where a popular movement last year overthrew former president Blaise Compaore after 27 years in power.

In the interview, Zida branded the activists as "disorganised strike movements... [who] clearly want to stop the government from working and holding an election" in October.

He said the government was trying to attract foreign investment to boost the economy, while protesters "want to undermine those efforts by creating a climate of anarchy, openly defying the authority of the state".

On Monday and Tuesday, truck drivers demanding better pay and working conditions stopped oil supplies from reaching power stations, causing outages across the country.

Burkina Faso's main union, the General Workers Confederation, has called for a general strike on April 8, to demand the reduction of fuel prices.

Hundreds of thousands of people - a million according to organisers - took to the streets in Burkina Faso in October 2014, forcing Compaore to step down.

A former official in the presidential guard, Zida took over as interim leader, only to be replaced by current President Michel Kafando.

Zida was then named prime minister.

Nearly half of Burkina Faso's population lives beneath the poverty line.

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

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