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Blaise Compaore flees capital Ouagadougou

The ousted president of Burkina Faso has left the capital Ouagadougou and fled towards the south of the country, a French diplomatic source said on Friday.

President Blaise Compaore has “left for the south. He’s still in the country,” said the diplomatic source, who did not wish to be named.

A crowd gathers on October 31, 2014 in front of army headquarters in Ouagadougou, demanding that the army take over following the resignation of the president. Burkina Faso's army chief Navere Honore Traore said he was taking power on October 31 as head of state after President Blaise Compaore announced his resignation as tens of thousands of protesters demanded that he quit immediately after a day of unrest that saw mass protests and the storming of parliament and other public buildings.    AFP PHOTO
A crowd gathers on October 31, 2014 in front of army headquarters in Ouagadougou, demanding that the army take over following the resignation of the president. Burkina Faso’s army chief Navere Honore Traore said he was taking power on October 31 as head of state after President Blaise Compaore announced his resignation as tens of thousands of protesters demanded that he quit immediately after a day of unrest that saw mass protests and the storming of parliament and other public buildings. AFP PHOTO

The source said he was heading for the town of Po, near the border with Ghana although it was not clear whether the former president intended to remain in the country.

Paris said that Compaore should have little difficulty in travelling across borders as he was not subject to an international travel ban.

Compaore has not asked for refuge in France and such a trip is not being discussed, the source added.

Key dates in the west African state of Burkina Faso after President Blaise Compaore, who seized power in 1987, resigned on Friday and was replaced by the army chief.

Compaore served two seven-year terms before a change to the constitution allowed him to serve another two five-year terms.

He had been seeking to amend the constitution to be able to run for re-election once again in 2015.

– October 15, 1987: Compaore seizes power in a coup in which his former friend and one of Africa’s most loved leaders, Thomas Sankara, is ousted and assassinated.

Compaore quickly launches a “rectification” of Sankara’s “democratic, popular revolution”, that include the execution of two other comrades in arms accused of plotting yet another coup.

– June 2, 1991: A new constitution establishes a multi-party system and brings an end to 11 years of military rule.

– December 1, 1991: Compaore is elected president, but the vote is marked by an opposition boycott.

– November, 15, 1998: Compaore is re-elected at a vote marked by another opposition boycott.

– December 13, 1998: The bodies of journalist Norbert Zongo and three others are found in a burned vehicle as he investigated a murder that might have had links to Compaore’s brother Francois. An unprecedented political and social crisis ensues.

– April 11, 2000: Deputies modify the constitution to give the president a five-year mandate, renewable once. In 1997, deputies had approved an unlimited number of seven-year terms.

– October 7, 2003: Authorities say they have foiled an attempted coup. Togo and Ivory Coast are suspected of involvement, but deny links with the putschists.

– December 20-21, 2006: Clashes between police and soldiers in which five are killed and several dozen injured in the capital.

– February and March 2008: Violent demonstrations erupt against the high cost of living.

– November 21, 2010: Compaore wins the presidential election at the first round. Opposition candidates reject the outcome and denounce “serious irregularities”.

– March-June 2011: Protests break out over high food prices, unemployment, rising costs and looting by troops. Soldiers and paramilitary police join the unrest in April, going on the rampage in several towns. Compaore is forced to leave the capital for a short time, and then names himself defence minister.

– January 2, 2013: Compaore forms a new government, keeping the role of defence minister.

– December 12, 2013: Compaore mentions plans for a referendum on changes to Article 37 of the constitution, which limits presidential mandates to two. Opposition figures accuse him of preparing a “constitutional coup”.

– October 28, 2014: Hundreds of thousands — one million according to the opposition — take to the streets to denounce the constitution plan.

– October 31, 2014: A day after demonstrations in which protesters set the parliament and other buildings ablaze, Compaore announces that he is stepping down. Burkina’s army chief, Navere Honore Traore, takes power.


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