Monday 25 September 2017
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Burkina Faso: The Fall of Compaoré

Burkina Faso: The Fall of Compaoré

In the build-up to this past week's mass protests in Burkina Faso that ended Blaise Compaore's 27-year rule, statesmen from French President Francois Hollande to former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan sent him messages with increasing urgency.

The meaning was clear: step aside with reputation intact and a high-profile international job, or risk an undignified exit.

But Compaore stood firm. Even with hundreds of thousands protesting his plan to rejig the constitution to extend his rule, he still hoped to outmaneuver his rivals one more time.

The former soldier had survived many attempts to unseat him since he seized power in a 1987 coup that killed his former brother in arms Thomas Sankara, a leftwing hero.

In doing so, Compaore gradually reinvented himself from a notorious backer of rebel groups and ally of the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to a wily, regional peace-broker.

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