News / Africa

Curfew in Burkina Faso After President Dissolves Government

Residents look at debris on the pavement on April 16, 2011 in Ouagadougou after soldiers from three barracks took to the streets of the Burkina Faso capital overnight, firing into the air and pillaging as a mutiny entered its third day
Residents look at debris on the pavement on April 16, 2011 in Ouagadougou after soldiers from three barracks took to the streets of the Burkina Faso capital overnight, firing into the air and pillaging as a mutiny entered its third day

Burkina Faso's capital is under an overnight curfew after the president dissolved his government following an army mutiny.

President Blaise Compaore's government imposed the overnight curfew after merchants rioted because mutinous soldiers looted their shops.

The traders set fire to ruling party headquarters in the capital Ouagadougou Saturday and ransacked the National Assembly to protest what they say is the government's failure to stop mutinous soldiers from looting their stores.

President Compaore Friday dissolved his government and dismissed his army chief of staff and head of presidential security after soldiers at the presidential palace fired heavy weapons in the air demanding the payment of promised allowances. They then set fire to the home of President Compaore's chief of staff.

Tens of thousands of people Thursday marched in the capital to protest the high cost of living in demonstrations that were joined in at least ten other towns.

France is warning its citizens against travel to Burkina Faso, saying the situation is tense because of the soldiers' protest and warning that travelers face an increased risk of robbery and kidnapping.

Most stores in the capital were closed Saturday and few people were on the street well before the evening curfew.

President Compaore came to power in a 1987 coup against then-president Thomas Sankara. Mr. Compaore has been re-elected four times, most recently last November.

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