News / Africa

Burkina Faso to Address Soldiers' Grievances

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 army commander says the government will work with soldiers to resolve the grievances that led to unrest that erupted last week.

General Nabere Honore Traore announced the decision on Tuesday, a day after members of the elite presidential guard released a statement apologizing for the unrest.

Last Thursday, soldiers in the capital, Ouagadougou, began firing shots into the air to protest the government's delay in paying their housing and daily food allowances.  The demonstration spread to other cities, where police joined the protests.

In their statement, the elite soldiers called for an end to the unrest.  They said the goal of the demonstrations was to return their "rights" and they were satisfied with proposals from military leaders to meet their demands.

Unrest began in the West African nation in February, with protests against rising food prices, crime and the slow pace of reforms by President Blaise Compaore's government.

The president has since enacted a number of reforms, in an apparent bid to appease protesters.  On Monday, he named ambassador to France Luc Adolphe Tiao as his new prime minister.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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