Like other sub-Saharan African countries such as Uganda, Burkina Faso’s government seems nervous about the possibility of a protest movement gaining steam.
As observers watch to see how strongly the protest movements in North Africa will affect politics in sub-Saharan Africa, Burkina Faso has proven to be a test case for the relationship between local grievances and regional politics. A nascent protest movement there seems to stem largely from the country’s own internal conflicts, but as events progress I will be watching to see whether Burkinabe protesters are taking cues from their peers in Egypt, Tunisia, and elsewhere.
So far, Burkina Faso’s protesters – largely students – seem simply to want accountability from the country’s security forces. On Feb. 20, a student named Justin Zongo died in police custody. Protests broke out, and four people died during clashes with police. Largely student-led protests spread throughout the country:
Demonstrations took places in Koudougou, Fada N’Gourma, Tougan and Sabou, said Chrizogone Zougmore, president of the Burkinabe Movement for Human Rights, by phone [on March 9].