News / Africa

Burkinabe Soldiers Face Prosecution After Mutiny

Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore (file photo)
Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore (file photo)
Anne Look

At least 57 mutinous Burkinabe soldiers now face prosecution after government troops violently squashed a rebellion at a military camp outside Burkina Faso's second-largest city this weekend.   

The government sent a joint force of presidential guardsmen, parachute commandos and police on Friday to the country's commercial capital, Bobo Dioulasso, where disgruntled troops demanding higher wages had spent several days looting and shooting into the air.

Security Minister Jerome Bougouma says one week ago, soldiers broke into an arms and munitions store and proceeded to pillage downtown. He says they targeted private citizens, breaking into safes and retaining control of areas by force. During this crisis, he says, the authorities were open to negotiation and dialogue.  But Bougouma says that faced with the obstinacy of the mutineers and the serious threat to public order, the prime minister called on the armed forces to re-establish order.

Military authorities said seven people were killed and 33 injured before the mutiny was put down on Saturday.  It was the first military intervention since unrest broke out three months ago in barracks nationwide.

Security Minister Bougouma says the intervention was justified because undisciplined members of the army should not become a danger to the population or disobey the law. He says the army should defend the population, not attack it.

Authorities said at least 57 mutineers were arrested and that they continue to search for others.

Justice Minister Jerome Traore says those arrested will now be questioned to determine their involvement in various infractions, including acts of theft and violence against individuals.  He says it is essential that the law be respected and that the accused be able to defend themselves with the help of legal counsel.

Many in the capital, Ouagadougou, expressed support for the government's actions.  

This resident says the government's reaction was late but necessary. Enough is enough, he says. Those soldiers who would rob, destroy public property and attack women are no longer soldiers and should be dealt with.

The chief of the army, General Honore Traore, has apologized for the mutineers' actions and attempted to reassure the nation.   

General Traore said he is ashamed of their behavior and the damage they caused. He says these soldiers were in the minority, and adds the army aims to win back the population's trust.

The mutiny was the latest in a string of military and civilian protests since February against the government of longtime Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore, who seized power in a 1987 coup and was re-elected to another term last November.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs