Burkina Faso has been experiencing mutinies by soldiers and protests by students, merchants, and workers for months now, but the situation in the country’s second largest city, Bobo-Dioulasso, sounds like it is really getting out of control:
Soldiers…fired shots in the air during a third day of unrest as shopkeepers protested the troops’ looting of their stores.
The firing started overnight at a military base in the city and continued today, said resident Karim Cisse in a phone interview. A 6 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew was issued for the city, according to a statement read on state-owned television.
The conflict in Bobo Dioulasso comes amid a series of army protests over delayed pay and allowances.
AFP has more details:
Soldiers left their camp again midday on Thursday, firing shots in the air while some rode on motorcycles through several neighbourhoods, a resident told AFP.
The local public radio and television station closed its broadcast centre after a group of soldiers arrived hoping to broadcast a message.
A resident told AFP that by Thursday evening the town was deserted with all shops closed.
Between the soldiers, who are angry at the regime over unpaid salaries, and the merchants, who are angry at the regime for failing to control the soldiers, President Blaise Compaore is facing huge pressures from various directions. Drew Hinshaw says Compaore’s time may be up, but Compaore is one of the region’s savviest leaders and he’s already weathered weeks of unrest. What do you think will happen?