Thousands of Burkinabes protest Compaore regime

OUAGADOUGOU — Organisers said tens of thousands of people across Burkina Faso marched Friday in protest against the regime of President Blaise Compaore.

There was an impressive turn-out in the capital Ouagadougou, an AFP journalist witnessed, the biggest in many years.

The marches were organised by the National Coalition against the High Cost of Living (CCVC), an alliance of trade unions, consumer organisations, rights groups and small businesses.

“We came out in the tens of thousands today to shout out that we have had it up to here with the high cost of living,” said CCVC coordinator Tole Sagnon, who also heads up the Burkina General Confederation of Labour (CGT-B).

The protesters also wanted to express their anger at what he said was the regime’s “multiple crimes”, he added.

“Compaore, the people are hungry,” the marchers chanted. “Compaore, the people want justice.”

Other marchers shouted slogans related to the 1998 murder of investigative journalist Norbert Zongo.

Zongo’s bullet-riddled body, together with that of his brother and two colleagues, was found in their burnt-out car.

Media rights campaigners have accused the regime of having covered up the true facts surrounding the killings.

Marches also took place in 10 other towns across the country, with unions and local residents saying that there had been thousands of people in the streets.

Compaore has faced a series of protests against his regime since February, with first students then soldiers staging protests against his rule.

Six people, including four students and a policeman, were killed in riots in late February in the town of Koudougou, 100 kilometres (60 miles) west of Ouagadougou, after a student died in disputed circumstances.

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