Burkina Faso

Parliament burns


Things have turned a whole lot nastier today in Burkina Faso with demonstrators storming the parliament building and setting it alight.

Parliament had been expected to pass a constitutional amendment today which would have extended the term of President Blaise Compaoré by another potential three terms. Opposition spokesmen said that about one million people went onto the streets earlier this week to demonstrate against the move to change Article 37 of the Constitution.

On Wednesday there was a national strike, but few expected the people to react so violently to events today. In addition to setting Parliament ablaze, protesters also attacked and set fire to City Hall and the ruling party headquarters. State television has gone off the air with reports that its building is also under attack.

In response to the protesters, the armed forces have reacted violently and are moving to retake control of the capital. At least one person has been killed and Le Pays reports more victims.

It is unclear if the government will withdraw their attempt to change the constitution or will simply delay the vote until later. Blaise Compaoré has been President since 1987 when he took over during a coup d’etat.

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