By Eric Edi, PhD, US Africa News. Updated 2014-11-19

Manifestation against Compaore

On October 30th and 31st, an exemplary mobilization of the forces of change in Burkina Faso ousted Capitain Blaise Compaoré from the  dictatorial power he had held since 1987, and to which he attempted to cling. This historic mobilization consisted of preventing the modification of Article 37 of the Constitution [which limits presidential mandates to two terms], as desired by the Compaoré regime. Since his ousting, Compaoré has found refuge in the Ivory Coast, where he has received a guarantee from the illegitimate regime of M. Alassane Ouattara that he can stay as long as desired.

CACI-USA, which unites patriotic organizations, activists for Ivoirian sovereignty, and panafricainists, and which is a member of the African Coalition for  Social Justice (ACSJ) in the US, congratulates the political parties, youth, women, and especially the Balai Citoyen grassroots movement which put and end to the Compaoré’s reign, instituted respect for the Burkina Faso Constitution, gave African political activists reasons to continue the struggle for a constitutional State, and brought down one of the pillars of “Françafrique”.

While the fall of Compaoré merits an accolade because it reaffirms the profound aspiration of Africans to put an end to dictatorial and anti-sovereignist regimes, CACI-USA believes, however, that the means by which Compaoré left Burkina Faso and the proud official announcement of his welcome in Ivory Coast are a source of instability for both countries, and a humiliation for Ivorians. 

CACI-USA condemns the intervention of France in  Capitaine Blaise Compaoré’s evacuation, an action that the France’s President, François Hollande confirmed in Québec, Canada, where he was visiting. The involvement of France in the evacuation is another proof that the French government continues to  assume the right to designate and protect African leaders who are faithful to them against the will of their own people. France aided in the evacuation of Capitaine Compaoré in the same manner that it imposed another dictator, Ouattara, on Ivory Coast in April, 2011. This is an interference which summons to unity and to action the forces for a democratic alternative.

CACI-USA declares that the presence of dictator Captain Blaise Compaoré in Ivory Coast threatens the  achievements of the popular uprising of October 30 and 31, 2014. If Burkina Faso was a party to the destabilization of Ivory Coast in 2002, Ivory Coast can be considered a party to the destabilization of Burkina Faso post-October 2014. If Dennis Sassou Nguesso could be returned to power by force against the democratic regime of Pascal Lissouba, it is correct to be concerned that Compaoré together with Ouattara make up a pair of putschists who have not renounced power. This is why, according to some in Franco-African discourse, Compaoré resigned in order to preserve the political nexus in Burkina Faso. We are not  forgetting that there are members of his Pretorian Guard who are in power while waiting for the probable designation of a civil leader in order to assure the transition.

It is important to remind African and Ivorian political actors and regional and international institutions that Compaoré, who led Burkina Faso by violence, has violated civil rights and the sovereignty of African countries, served as a conduit for Françafrique, and aided in the destabilization of West African countries, notably Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, and more recently, Mali.

Compaoré remains, for the great majority of Ivoirians, the godfather of the  MPCI [Patriotic Movement of Côte d'Ivoire] rebellion, which attacked Ivory Coast on September 19 2002, plunging thousands of families into mourning, creating orphans, destroying social cohesion, dividing the country into two parts for 10 years and unleashing imperialist forces, and illegally exploiting natural resources--all things which have led the Ivorian people to live today in poverty, insecurity, and uncertainty about the future.

Because of this recurring threat of destabilization and humiliation to Ivoirians, CACI-USA supports the will of the alternative democratic forces to demandand agitate for the departure of Compaoré from Ivory Coast. When, General Moussa Traoré was deposed in Mali in 1992, he was placed in a guarded residence and his physical safety assured. There is no reason why it would be any different for Captain Compaoré.

In addition to condemning France, CACI-USA also condemns the intervention of the Ouattara regime in the evacuation and reception of Burkina Faso’s ex-dictator in Ivory Coast. It is true that because of the hospitality which characterizes it, Ivory Coast is a country of welcome to victims of war, political dissidents, and deposed heads of state.  Colonel Ojukwu, Emperor Bokassa, presidents Hamani Diori and Maurice Yaméogo, Mme Andrée Touré, and the head of UNITA, Jonas Savimbi, to menion only some, have found a refuge in Ivory Coast.  But the difference with Compaoré is that not only haven’t these former heads of state sponsored rebellions against Ivory Coast, but they also had been received in the strictest confidentiality by Président Houphouët-Boigny, who had a legitimate history in Ivory Coasst. Ouattara does not have this legitimacy. 

In this case, how can the Ouattara regime, which is not itself legitimate, announce and welcome a dictator to Ivory Coast at cost to the State, while starving the people, persecuting opponents, and preventing Ivoirian exiles from regurning? Does it make sense to exile President Laurent Gbagbo, a son of Ivory Coast, to Korhogo and then to the Hague in Holland, and welcome the bloody Captain Compaoré to Yamoussoukro in Ivory Coast? Does it make sense democratically to keep the honorable  Simone Gbagbo and Captains Abehi and Seka Seka incommunicado, and protect the assassin Compaoré at a hotel in Yamoussoukro?

In swooping in with Ivorian resources in order to save Compaoré and his entourage, Ouattara has given a new dimension to his charnel house for Ivorians, reiterated his fidelity to Françafrique, and to the violation of the Ivorian Constitution and the rights of Ivorians, and expressed his disdain for the victory of the Burkinabè people. There is no doubt that the regime of Ouattara, who has practiced a double standard of justice since April 11, 2011, will never deliver Compaoré to justice in Burkina Faso because Compaore helped him to install himself in power unconstitutionally. 

Considering that social justice and the rule of Law are the gauges of social and economic progress, CACI-USA deems it unacceptable that a dictator like Capitaine Blaise Compaoré be placed in an arrangement in which he can continue to avoid answering to equitable justice in his country or in front of an appropriate African jurisdiction.

CACI-USA thus calls on the Burkinabè people to demand the extradition of Blaise Compaoré from Ivory Coast so that he can face justice in his own country.

CACI-USA supports the movements of patriots, Ivorian sovereignists  and political activitsts, and  panafricanists, who call for popular demonstrations for the departure of Compaoré. This is a moral and just demand.

CACI-USA reaffirms that M. Alassane Dramane Ouattara is an illegitimate leader and that only his departure, on the same terms as that of Captain Blaise Compaoré, with whom he shares the identity of dictator, will offer Ivory Coast and West Africa their true chances for peace, stability, and development.  

Eric Edi, PhD,

for the Executive Secretariat