News / Africa

Burkina Faso President Speaks on Peace and Security Ahead of UN Meeting

Blaise Compaore - Burkina Faso President (AP)
Blaise Compaore - Burkina Faso President (AP)

Location

N6, Burkina Faso
Mariama Diallo
It was at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington that Burkina Faso president Blaise Compaore delivered remarks on security and peace in West Africa, as well as the challenges that lie ahead. The president, who comes from a French speaking country, drew laughter from the crowd as he told them he wished he could address them instead in English.

Mr. Compaore said from east to west and from north to south, Africa has seen its share of conflicts. He said what’s even more important than solving conflicts is keeping them from happening.

“Prevention [means] creating an environment of trust between the population and their governments. It’s that trust that will allow us to better handle emerging conflicts down the road,” he noted.

BLAISE COMPAORE ENG PKGi
X
September 25, 2013 9:06 PM


He also said the only way to achieve world peace is through dialogue. But it can only bear fruit when parties are willing to work together – adding “dialogue can have results only if there is trust in the first place. Going to the negotiating table in good faith means [that both sides are] able to accept compromise; that is to say, not wanting everything for yourself and nothing for the other party.”

Mr. Compaore, who’s visiting Washington ahead of the 68th United Nations General Assembly, is known for the role he’s played as a mediator in many African countries, including Cote D’Ivoire, Mali and Guinea.

He’s been in power since 1987 and – according to law -- is serving his last term, which ends in 2015.  Opponents ask if he will abide by the term limits set by his country’s constitution?

His answer: “I’ve always respected the constitution. You know 2015 is a long way away, and I am more [focused] on the success of the programs I’ve been working on before the end of my term. That’s why I am not going to participate in a pre-debate about a future candidacy or succession.”

The opposition is concerned about some of his projects, like the creation of a senate, which they say is not necessary. But Mr. Compaore dismissed his critics saying, “the opposition doesn’t have a majority in the parliament in order to allow them to modify it, and they are only playing politics.”

He also addressed recent tensions between Kenya and the International Criminal Court in The Hague. It is trying Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto for their alleged involvement in post-election violence that left hundreds dead in 2008.  Critics say the court is biased because its cases so far have focused on Africa. They urge African countries to withdraw from the ICC.  Mr. Compaore says Africans should sit down and have a frank discussion about the issue.

In his view, “African leaders were the ones who signed on to be part of it in the beginning. I believe the talk should center on either giving recommendations to improve the ICC  or offer adequate reasons to withdraw from it… but there is a place for the ICC in this world.”

Mr. Compaore said when the time comes to step down, he hopes he'll be remembered for his efforts to bring peace, stability and economic growth to his country.

He’s attending a meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York City where he’ll participate in the discussions on some of the most pressing issues affecting Africa.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid