- Blaise Compaoré
name = Blaise Compaoré
| order =
President of Burkina Faso
Youssouf Ouédraogo Roch Marc Christian Kaboré Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo Tertius Zongo
15 October 1987
birth_date = birth date and age|1951|02|03|df=y
Ouagadougou, Upper Volta
party = CDP
Blaise Compaoré (born
February 3, 1951"Profiles of People in Power: The World's Government Leaders" (2003), page 76–77.] [http://www.presidence.bf/page.php?sid=8 "Biographie du président"] , website of the Presidency fr icon.] ) has been the President of Burkina Fasosince 1987. He is the founder of the ruling political party, the Congress for Democracy and Progress. He has been implicated in the murder of Thomas Sankara, his predecessor, in the 1987 coup. He was elected President in 1991, in an election that was boycotted by the opposition; he was re-elected in 1998 and 2005.
Participation in 1987 coup
He took power on
October 15, 1987in a bloody coup that killed Sankara, his predecessor as head of state. Compaoré described the killing of Sankara as an "accident", however this claim is widely disputed. Upon taking the presidency, he reverted many of the policies of Sankara, claiming that his policy was a "rectification" of the Burkinabé revolution.
Soon after he became President he also eliminated two major revolutionary leaders,
Henri Zongoand Jean-Baptiste Boukary Lingani, accused of plotting against the regime. Blaise Compaoré's liability in connection with the assassination of Sankara has been the object of the first complaint against Burkina Faso, lodged by Mariam Sankara, Thomas Sankara's widow. In April 2006, the UN Human Rights Committee issued a damning condemnation of Burkina Faso's failure to investigate the circumstances of Thomas Sankara's death (and prosecute those responsible for Sankara's death). [ [http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/8d3fe6b44a5f39bdc1257172005150ec?Opendocument United Nations Human Rights Website - Treaty Bodies Database - Document - Jurisprudence - Burkina Faso ] ]
;Murder of Norbert ZongoPresident Compaoré and his Presidential Guard have been implicated in the death of reporter
Norbert Zongoin December 1998 and continued intimidation of the media in Burkina Faso, according to the international organization Reporters Without Borders. The Norbert Zongo murder allegations highlighted one of the only times that Compaoré's power has been truly questioned and jeopardized. [ [http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BCRC?srchtp=adv&c=1&ste=31&tbst=tsVS&tab=2&aca=nwmg&bConts=2&RNN=A146087748&docNum=A146087748&locID=wash11212 Thomson Gale Product Failure ] ]
Compaoré was elected president in 1991; main opposition parties boycotted in protest to the questionable means Compaoré used to take office in the first place, surrounding the murder of Sankara. In this election, only 25% of the electorate even participated, emphasizing tremendous political instability and protest amongst the masses. [ [http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BCRC?srchtp=adv&c=1&ste=31&tbst=tsVS&tab=2&aca=nwmg&bConts=2&RNN=A146087744&docNum=A146087744&locID=wash11212 Thomson Gale Product Failure ] ] In 1998 he was re-elected for the first time. In August 2005, he announced his intention to contest the next presidential election. Opposition politicians regard his 2005 re-election bid as unconstitutional due to a constitutional amendment in 2000 limiting a president to two terms, and reducing term lengths from seven to five years, thus barring Compaoré from seeking a third term. Compaoré's supporters dispute this, saying that the amendment cannot be applied retroactively. [ [http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=48557&SelectRegion=West_Africa&SelectCountry=BURKINA_FASO "BURKINA FASO: Compaore's decision to bid for re-election raises opposition hackles"] , IRIN, August 11, 2005.] Notwithstanding opposition objections, in October 2005 the constitutional council ruled that because Compaoré was a sitting president in 2000, the amendment would not apply until the end of his second term in office, thereby allowing him to present his candidacy for the 2005 election.
November 13 2005, Compaoré was re-elected as President, defeating 12 opponents and winning 80.35% of the vote. Although 16 opposition parties announced a coalition to unseat Compaoré early on in the race, ultimately nobody wanted to give up their spot in the race to another leader in the coalition, and the pact fell through. [ [http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BCRC?srchtp=adv&c=1&ste=31&tbst=tsVS&tab=2&aca=nwmg&bConts=2&RNN=A146087745&docNum=A146087745&locID=wash11212 Thomson Gale Product Failure ] ] He has proposed a "National Reconciliation" that is not widely supported by his opposition.
Following Compaoré's victory, he was sworn in for another term on
December 20 2005. [ [http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/pays-zones-geo_833/burkina-faso_338/france-burkina-faso_1110/visites_8366/ceremonie-investiture-m.-blaise-compaore-20.12.05_27288.html "Mme Brigitte Girardin a représenté la France à la cérémonie d’investiture de M. Blaise Compaoré (Ouagadougou, 20 décembre 2005)"] , French Ministry of Foreign Affairs fr icon.]
International and regional roles
In 1993, President Compaoré headed the Burkina-Faso delegation which participated in the first
Tokyo International Conference on African Development. [Japan, Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MOFA): [http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/africa/ticad/list/africa.html 28 African nations] ]
Compaoré has been active as a mediator in regional issues. On
July 26 2006, he was designated as the mediator of the Inter-Togolese Dialogue, which was held in Ouagadougou in August 2006 ["Inter-Togolese dialogue resumes in Ouagadougou", republicoftogo.com (nl.newsbank.com), August 9, 2006.] and resulted in an agreement between the government and opposition parties. [ [http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=60422 "TOGO: Political agreement aims to end 12-year feud "] , IRIN, August 21, 2006.] He has also acted as mediator in the crisis in Côte d'Ivoire, brokering the peace agreement that was signed by Ivorian President Laurent Gbagboand New Forces leader Guillaume Soroin Ouagadougou on March 4 2007. [ [http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=70514 "COTE D'IVOIRE: New peace agreement"] , IRIN, March 5, 2007.]
He is an Honorary Member of [http://www.raoulwallenberg.net The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation] .
Tokyo International Conference on African Development(TICAD-IV), 2008.
* [http://www.thomassankara.org Web Thomas Sankara]
* [http://www.african-geopolitics.org/show.aspx?ArticleId=3110 Pascal Drouhaud interviews Blaise Compaoré]
* [http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=10129&Valider=OK Reporters Without Borders, Burkina Faso 2004 Annual Report]
* [http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/48/ IFEX: Monitoring media freedom in Burkina Faso]
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