Should the government of Burkina Faso allow ex-president in exile Blaise Compaoré to return to the country?
After numerous years in exile, former Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaoré has expressed his desire to come home. Compaoré fled the country following the 2014 Youth Uprising in the country that directly opposed his 27 year rule. Various human rights organisations have criticised the Compaoré government for various acts of state sponsored violence and oppression, however Compaoré had also been instrumental in regional dialogue for diplomacy and stability, being a key ally to many West African and international governments. Could Compaoré’s return help in dealing with the increasingly frequent jihadist attacks and social discontent in Burkina Faso?
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Yes, he should act as a mediator
Yes, but to stand trial
No – 2014 Burkinabé Uprising
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Yes, he should act as a mediator
Since Blaise Compaoré has been in exile in Ivory Coast it is not so much a political power vacuum that he has left in his wake but militant instability, with a long underfunded military that enabled him to retain power now struggling with deal with numerous terror attacks. But many believe, including Compaoré himself, that he could be useful in dealing with this issue, as he had ways and means of dealing with militant groups and has mediated successfully in regional issues a dozen times. Meanwhile the interim government refuses to negotiate with armed groups, and terror attacks remain frequent as the transition of power continues. Allowing Blaise Compaoré to return to Burkina Faso could allow him to make up the damage he has done to the country, he can help try to aid a smooth stable transition of power while maintaining regional stability with tribal groups, Burkina Faso’s stability is important in this highly troubled region of Africa.
Former President now in exile Blaise Compaoré should go back to Burkina Faso and face charges for his crimes of corruption andstate sponsored violence against the Burkinabé people. Sectarian attacks, inter-ethnic violence, as well as sponsoring the overthrow of powerful neighbours in the region, while corruptly amassing a personal fortune at the expense of the country, are just a few of the atrocities the former president needs to answer for. Currently Sierra Leonean war victims seek prosecution for Compaoré’s support of Charles Taylor’s regime, while an international arrest warrant has been put out for his part in the killing of former president Thomas Sankara as part of the 1987 coup which brought Compaoré to power. He should be returned to stand trial, so justice can be sought for his victims and his country.
In 2014 Blaise Compaoré was removed from power in a popular uprising that led to the burning down of government buildings including the National Assembly. This uprising was in direct response to Compaoré attempting to change the constitution for a second time in order to extend his already 27 year rule over the country. Compaoré did not face this massive popular backlash to his usurpation of power in Burkina Faso and instead fled to neighbouring Côte d'Ivoire, it would be dangerous to let such a politician return to the still unstable social and political environment in the country, as he would probably attempt to bypass democracy once again.