Death By sanctions in Iraq



Yemen war




Major Episodes of Political Violence 1946-2019


‘If we don’t support Ukraine, Ukraine will fall in a matter of days,’ says Josep Borrell

Published on 05/05/2023


Burkina Faso

On 2 August 1984, on President Sankara’s initiative, the country’s name changed from “Upper Volta” to “Burkina Faso”, or land of the honest men; (the literal translation is land of the upright men.)[40][41][need quotation to verify][42][43] The presidential decree was confirmed by the National Assembly on 4 August. The demonym for people of Burkina Faso, “Burkinabè”, includes expatriates or descendants of people of Burkinabè origin.

Sankara’s government comprised the National Council for the Revolution (CNR – French: Conseil national révolutionnaire), with Sankara as its president, and established popular Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDRs). The Pioneers of the Revolution youth programme was also established.

Sankara launched an ambitious socioeconomic programme for change, one of the largest ever undertaken on the African continent.[39] His foreign policies centred on anti-imperialism, with his government rejecting all foreign aid, pushing for odious debt reduction, nationalising all land and mineral wealth and averting the power and influence of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. His domestic policies included a nationwide literacy campaign, land redistribution to peasants, railway and road construction and the outlawing of female genital mutilation, forced marriages and polygamy.[39][44]

Sankara pushed for agrarian self-sufficiency and promoted public health by vaccinating 2,500,000 children against meningitis, yellow fever, and measles.[44] His national agenda also included planting over 10,000,000 trees to halt the growing desertification of the Sahel. Sankara called on every village to build a medical dispensary and had over 350 communities build schools with their own labour.[39][45]

In the 1980s, when ecological awareness was still very low, Thomas Sankara was one of the few African leaders to consider environmental protection a priority. He engaged in three major battles: against bush fires “which will be considered as crimes and will be punished as such”; against cattle roaming “which infringes on the rights of peoples because unattended animals destroy nature”; and against the anarchic cutting of firewood “whose profession will have to be organized and regulated”. As part of a development program involving a large part of the population, ten million trees were planted in Burkina Faso in fifteen months during the revolution. To face the advancing desert and recurrent droughts, Thomas Sankara also proposed the planting of wooded strips of about fifty kilometers, crossing the country from east to west. He then thought of extending this vegetation belt to other countries. Cereal production, close to 1.1 billion tons before 1983, was predicted to rise to 1.6 billion tons in 1987. Jean Ziegler, former UN special rapporteur for the right to food, said that the country “had become food self-sufficient.”[46]

On 15 October 1987, Sankara, along with twelve other officials, was assassinated in a coup d’état organized by Blaise Compaoré, Sankara’s former colleague, who would go on to serve as Burkina Faso’s president from October 1987 until October 2014.[47]


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