Burkina Faso: the voice of Sankara resonates

'Blaise get out' - photo by Joe Penney/REUTERS

‘Blaise get out’ – photo by Joe Penney/REUTERS

“While revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered, you cannot kill ideas”, Thomas Sankara – one week before being assassinated.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014. Burkinabé hit the streets of Ouagadougou. Hundreds of thousands, a million some even say.

President Blaise Compaoré, in power since 1987  (twenty-seven years now) wanted to amend article 37 of the Constitution, in order to allow himself to run a fifth mandate. He did not realize that the people would see it otherwise.

Since Tuesday, violence has been increasing in Ouagadougou. Today, Thursday, October 30, the street took the national television’s buildings, then headed for the Parliament that was set ablaze, before going for the Presidency by the middle of the afternoon. Two people died. The government made a first step back: article 37 will not be amended (for now).

When I got this news, the first thought that I had was “this will not be enough, when the Nation takes the street, it is not for another ‘I heard you’ “. They never hear, they are simply shaking. And the street knows it. I guess it is the Tunisian revolutionary spirit in me talking here.

A few hours later another announcement: the government is dissolved. A transitional government will be formed. Elections will be held within 12 months. Tonight the army declared a state of emergency. A curfew is set. Ouagadougou won’t sleep.

I will follow the development of the situation in Burkina Faso carefully. It seems that if the people stay strong and do not give up the fight – which I hope they wont – it will not be an easy battle. This evening Compaoré was not stepping down, he was simply negotiating extra time. One hope, the army seems to be siding for the people.

A thought: Everyone underestimates Africa, even African themselves. Until now.

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