Update on the transition

Burkina Faso
Publish by : Susan Brown
The big news is that presidential elections have been set for October 11, 2015. Although it is generally business as usual there are signs that things here remain somewhat unsettled. At the end of the December the transition government tried to abolish the elite presidential guard – the former president’s personal army – which to all appearances is out of a job.  It was a no go and the order had to rescinded when, according to the scuttlebutt, a coup was threatened.  The future of the presidential guard, which showed that it remains very powerful, will now be dealt with by the new president. It is important to remember that the former president, who fled the country and is now living in Ivory Coast, was not a one-man band.  His many cohorts remain in Burkina and continue to wield considerable influence. In mid-January, a Canadian mining company, True Gold, in the process of building a mine in the Northwest region had much of its heavy equipment torched by locals upset about the demolition of a mosque.  Things remain ‘hot’ and the mine has suspended operation. There are daily reports of strikes, sit-ins and general labour unrest, although there is no evidence that I have seen on the streets of Ouaga. The events of October 30 and 31, 2014 in Burkina Faso seem to have entered history not as a revolution but as a democratic insurrection. The most respected African current affairs  publication, Jeune Afrique, named the people of Burkina Faso, its person of the year in 2014.

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