Facing Jihadists, Burkina Faso Gambles On Village Militias

The West African country is training and arming everyday citizens to protect remote communities from terrorist groups. But some fear the strategy will lead to even more violence.

KONGOUSSI — Ousséni is proud, and as he looks out at the rust-colored hills in the province of Bam, in north-central Burkina Faso, his face lights up.

The 56-year-old farmer doesn't want to use his real name for this article. But having "finally returned" to his village after months of shock and shame, he says also feels at peace in a way he'd no longer thought possible. And that's because Ousséni feels "victorious' — in the face of the jihadists.

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Burkina Faso Elects First New President In 27 Years

Roch Marc Christian Kaboré from the Movement of People for Progress was elected Burkina Faso's new president, winning more than 53% of the vote in Sunday's elections, according to an official tally late Monday night.

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MSF Demands Probe, Zuckerberg Black Eye, World Ends


Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said it will take the unprecedented step of calling on the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC) to investigate Saturday's bombing by U.S. forces of its hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz that killed 22 people, swissinfo reports.

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Burkina Military Installs General As New President

The situation in Burkina Faso was still tense Friday morning, after the rebel military installed General Gilbert Diendéré as the country's new president Thursday, just three weeks before national elections were set to take place. "So It's Him!" reads the front-page headline of the Burkinabe daily L'Observateur.

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Jacques Hubert-Rodier

A Long But Not Impossible March Toward The End Of Tyranny

After Latin America and Europe, the Middle East and Africa want to bury their dictatorships. But it is an arduous and often twisted process of political revolution.


PARIS — After the Arab Spring, some say the "African Spring" is coming, and there is some real evidence to support it. Citizens of Burkina Faso recently ousted President Blaise Compaore, who, 20 years after taking command of the country through a coup d'etat, hoped to maintain power by changing the constitution.

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Cyril Bensimon

Burkina Faso, Sweet Revenge For 'Sankara's Children'

Thomas Sankara, the Marxist icon of the 1980s, was killed in a coup by now ousted Burkina Faso leader Compaore. Today's youth movement is still inspired by the African revolutionary.

OUAGADOUGOU — It's a mix of victory and bittersweet revenge for the generation we can call the "children of Thomas Sankara."

Burkina Faso’s current youth leaders didn’t live through the time when the Marxist revolutionary military captain led the country (from 1983 to 1987), but 27 years after the the African icon was killed, his ideas and aura continue to inspire.

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Smarty, The Burkina Faso Rapper Whose Lyrics Became An Anti-Compaore Anthem

"Our sovereign king is ill, let’s pray for him, tragedy eventually comes knocking on the door of the unknown," Burkinabe rapper Smarty says in his track "Le Chapeau du Chef" ("The boss’s hat"), which was released back in 2012. The song, which now sounds almost like a prophetic warning to Burkina Faso’s recently ousted President Blaise Compaoré, has become an anthem for the head of state’s opposition.

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Sandro Cappelletto

Making Pizza In Africa To Break Endless Cycles Of Foreign Aid

Italians teach locals in Burkina Faso both the recipe for pizza, and the formula for a successful small business. Is this how foreign aid is transformed into sustainable development?

FADA N’GOURMA - The aroma of pizza mingles with the smell of wood as we wait in line to buy a slice of "Margherita" tomato-and-mozzarella in Fada N’Gourma, a city of 50,000 in the east of Burkina Faso, near the borders with Togo and Niger.

“This is the third pizzeria-bakery that we’ve opened in Burkina Faso,” says Claudio Vanni, from the Italian “Heart Melts” foundation. “They’re co-ops, and we provide technical resources and training, but otherwise is handled entirely by local workers. It's a success, both from an economical point of view and for the solidarity values that it brings.”

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