8 July 2013

Burkina Faso: Police Attack Opposition Demonstrators

Photo: Sidwaya
The protest was led by opposition leader Zéphirin Dabré.

Several opposition demonstrators and journalists are reported to have been injured when police officers on June 29, 2013, fired tear gas to disrupt a protest march at Ouagadougou, the capital.

According to the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)'s monitor in the country, the police accused the demonstrators of not adhering to the demarcated routes, and fired tear gas to disperse them.

The demonstrators, led by Zéphirin Dabré, an opposition leader, are protesting against the creation of a new chamber (the Senate) in the National Assembly, the country's legislative body, which they suspect will enable President Blaise Compaore to extend his 25-year rule.

According to the group apart from their suspicion that President Compaoré's desire to constitute another chamber is to help him amend a clause in the country's Constitution and extend his term in office, the creation of this new chamber will also cost the country 3.6 billion CFA (about US$7,120,170).

However, the ruling government argues that the creation of a second chamber will not affect the national budget but rather it will consolidate democracy in the country.

At the time of the police attack similar demonstrations were being staged at different parts of the country including Dédougou, Kongoussi, Kaya, Banfora, Fada, Kombissiri, Pô, Boussé, Titao, Koupéla, etc, against the creation of the new chamber.

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