African Overview: Failed Coup Attempt in Burkina Faso

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Source: Notas / The Dawn News / October 24, 2016

Burkina Faso


Failed coup attempt in Burkina Faso

Last October 21, repressive forces arrested 19 militaries that were part of a group of at least 30 people that tried to make a coup d’état against Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, who was elected on November 29, 2015 in the first democratic elections since the independence of Burkina Faso in 1960.

The putschists were former members of the dissolved Regiment of Presidential Security, (RPS) which was led by former dictator Blaise Campaoré, who is currently exiled in Ivory Coast.

According to the government, the plan was to attack the headquarters of the presidency and the military prison where the former commander of the RPS, Gilbert Dienderé, is imprisoned.

In September 2015, under the command of Diendré, the RPS attempted another coup d’état against the transitory government of Michel Kafando. They were defeated and detained. The transition went on and ended with the elections that the current President won.

Previously, in 2014, a massive uprising overthrew dictator Compaoré, who governed the country since 1987, the year in which he made  coup and murdered the revolutionary leader Thomas Sankara. Therefore, the current government has issued a bench warrant against the former dictator, who is living in exile.

Photo credit: Al Jazeera

Read more about Thomas Sankara, His Life and Death



The Ethiopian government detained over 1,000 members of the opposition

Ethiopian authorities announced last week the arrest of 1,120 people accused of “attacking public and private institutions and confronting the Police during opposition demonstrations initiated a year ago.

In a comuniqué, the government characterized the people involved as “ringleaders of the violence that led to the destruction of infrastructure and property” in the regions of Oromiya and Ahmara.

This mass arrest was carried out in the context of the State of Emergency, which was decreed in early October and will last six months. “The general situation, including the destruction of government institutions and businesses, indicates that our country is descending into chaos. This threatens our sovereignty and our existence as a nation”, said Prime Minister Haile Mariam Desalegn when he announced the measure.

For over a year, Ethiopia has been immersed in an internal conflict that threatens to escalate in intensity. The crisis erupted due to the protests of the Oromo, a semi-nomadic agricultural people which is the most numerous ethnicity in the country, and demand more representation in the government and institutions, which is mostly run by the Asmara, te second largest ethnicity. The Asmara also were very important for the government of Mengistu Haile Mariam, who was overthrown in 1991.

Costa de Marfil

Ivory Coast will vote a new Constitution in a referendum

On October 30, citizens from Ivory Coast will go to the polls to cast their vote to approve or reject the new Magna Carta created by the government of President Alassane Ouattara.

The new Constitution was one of the promises that the President made in 2015, during the campaign that ended with his reelection until 2020. “The Constitution is a guarantee, a lifelong insurance for peace, that will last decades and decades, so I’m asking you to come out and vote massively because that’s how we will achieve peace”, Ouattara said.

One of the key modifications included in the new Constitution is the elimination of the nationality clause that currently demands all presidential candidates to prove that their parents were Ivorian.This clause also excludes candidates that have requested citizenships in other countries.

Ouattara himself had been excluded from the elections on the basis of this clause, until in 2010 he was finally able to run and won.

Other changes included in the new Constitution are the creation of the post of the Vice President and a Senate, the institutionalization of the House of Traditional Leaders and the increase of the abilities of the Social and Economic Council.


Child marriage and school desertion in Malawi

The Ministry of Education of Malawi reported that 33% of the girls of the country drop out of school and don’t graduate. The reasons for this are “economic, social, and cultural”, warned the Minister of Education, Emmanuel Fabiano.

Fabiano added that “despite the efforts of the government, the rates of school desertion are very high”.

One of the main reasons for this situation is the widespread practice of child marriages. In 2015, the law was modified in order to forbid it, but a clause allows people under 18 to marry if they want to and have permission from their parents.

According to the UN, more than half of the underaged females of Malawi are married, which makes this country the eighth with the highest rate of child marriages.

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