Burkina Faso. According to
Countryaah official website, the assassination of independent newspaper
editor Norbert Zongo at the end of 1998 led to several
months of strikes and demonstrations around the country. The
protests shook President Blaise Compaore's regime, which was
forced into a series of concessions. Zongo was investigating
the death of former Army Sergeant David Ouedrago in January
1998, and there were reasons to believe that his
investigations posed a threat to powerful government
politicians and military, including the president's brother.
Behind the protests was also widespread dissatisfaction due
to other abuses, widespread corruption and poverty.
A loosely cohesive group of democratic mass organizations
and political parties was formed and posed, among other
things. demands that other unexplained deaths be
investigated and that those arrested in connection with the
protests be released. Much of the anger was directed at the
ruling party Congrés pour la demokratie et le progrés (CDP).
There were also reports that some CDP politicians were
arming militias in order to strike hard at the opposition.
An independent commission set up to investigate Zongo's
death announced in May that "serious suspicions" were
directed at six of the president's security guards.
In a speech to the nation in May, Compaoré promised that
the presidential guard would be reorganized. The following
month he appointed a special council, which included three
former presidents were included to investigate suspected
political murders for which no one has been punished during
the period from independence until today. When the Council
presented its report in August, many of the suspicions
raised by the regime critics were confirmed. The light was
also directed at the lack of real democracy in the country.
It also seemed that there was a possibility that the murder
of President Thomas Sankara in 1987 would go to court.
The Council recommended a revision of the Constitution
and the creation of a Truth Commission based on the South
African model and the creation of a National Unity
Government to restore order in the country. Large parts of
the opposition were skeptical and demanded the resignation
of the president. Compaoré promised reforms, and planned a
government reform to make room for the opposition.