Burkina Faso protesters burn parliament over Compaore’s tenure extension plan

Protesters on Thursday marched on Burkina Faso’s presidential palace after burning the parliament building, forcing President Blaise Compaore to suspend a planned tenure extension, news agency Reuters reported Thursday.

After ruling the landlocked West African country for 27 years, Mr. Campaore had approached the parliament to further extend his tenure by five years.

The move backfired as the country descended into chaos with thousands marching against the president and members of the country’s parliament.

According to Reuters, security forces killed at least three protesters and several others were wounded when the crowd attempted to storm the home of Mr. Campaore’s brother.

Security forces also fired live bullets and tear gas at protesters near the presidency in the Ouaga 2000 neighbourhood.

Lawmakers were due to vote on Thursday to approve Mr. Compaore’s plan.

Alain Edouard Traore, communications minister, said the government had dropped the proposal to amend a two-term limit on the presidential mandate, Reuters reported.

But protesters insist they would not stop until Mr. Compaore stepped aside.

There were also reports of large-scale protests in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso’s second biggest town, and Ouahigouya, to the north.

Reuters said most lawmakers had not yet arrived for the vote when protesters, who had set up barricades outside parliament from early on Thursday, stormed the building.

The crowd surged forward after police fired warning shots in the air.

Mr. Compaore has ruled the West African country since 1987 when he took over after soldiers killed the country’s revolutionary leader, Thomas Sankara.


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