– Domani Spero
We’ve previously blogged about Burkina Faso here (see Burkina Faso Says Bye Bye Blaise: Martial Law Lifted, Nationwide Curfew, Shelter in Place Still On; US Embassy Ouagadougou: Burkina Faso Now on Martial Law; Embassy Staff Shelters in Place; Some of the World’s ‘Forever’ Rulers Are in Town — Meet Their Fashionable Ladies (Photos).
Yesterday, after three days of chaos, the State Department issued a Travel Alert informing U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Burkina Faso following the fall of the government of President Compaore:
The State Department alerts U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to or residing in Burkina Faso and recommends U.S. citizens defer all non-essential travel. This Travel Alert will expire on January 29, 2015.
On October 31, Burkina Faso’s President Compaore resigned. The status of a transitional government remains unclear. There are incidents of looting throughout the capital city of Ouagadougou, Bobo-Dioulasso, and other parts of the country.
The situation is dynamic and closures or openings of border and airports are likely to change and remain unpredictable for some time. Currently, land and air borders have been closed. U.S. citizens should stay informed and abreast of local media reports for land border and airport updates.
U.S. citizens in Burkina Faso may find that at times sheltering in place may be the only and best security option.
U.S. citizens residing in Burkina Faso should remain vigilant and utilize appropriate personal security practices. Avoid large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations; maintain situational awareness and exercise good judgment; be alert and remain aware of your surroundings; and stay abreast of the situation through media outlets.
Read in full here.
Yesterday, the State Department expressed concern over the transfer of power in Burkina Faso:
The United States is concerned about the unfolding events in Burkina Faso. We regret the violence and the loss of life in Burkina Faso and call on all parties to avoid further violence. We reiterate our call for all parties to follow the constitutionally mandated process for the transfer of power and holding of democratic elections following the resignation of former President Blaise Compaore. We condemn any attempts by the military or other parties to take advantage of the situation for unconstitutional gain and call on all parties to respect the people’s support for the democratic process.
According to Vice News, Lieutenant Colonel Yacouba Isaac Zida, who assumed power has been a member of the military for more than 20 years, and served as the second in command of the ex-president’s security regiment. This is apparently, the seventh time a military officer has seized power since Burkina Faso won its independence from France more than 50 years ago. If history is any indication, he may still be around in 2022 in the “land of upright people.”
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– Domani Spero
The U.S. Embassy in Ouagadougou issued the following emergency message to U.S. citizens in Burkina Faso. The messages are dated but typically do not carry a timestamp:
On Thursday, October 30, President Compaore announced in a televised address that he will continue dialogue to form a transitional government after which he will transfer power to a democratically elected president. He reiterated the message that the government is dissolved and announced that the state of martial law is lifted in all of Burkina Faso.
However, there is currently a 7:00 pm to 6:00 am curfew nationwide.
The city of Ouagadougou currently appears to be calm, however protesters continue to gather at the Place de la Nation in Ouagadougou, and at the Place Tiefo Amoro (Station Square) in Bobo-Dioulasso. Crowds and spontaneous protests may also form elsewhere.
Embassy staff continues to shelter in place until further notice. We urge U.S. citizens in Ouagadougou to do the same and to make movements for essential purposes only.
At this time we do not know if civilians have access to the Ouagadougou International Airport. We are monitoring the situation but it is unclear whether flights continue to operate.
Meanwhile, today, Burkina Faso said bye-bye Blaise:
Enter armed forces chief General Honore Traore:
The people celebrates:
Former-Prez to Ghana?
Meet the new boss:
Except for the Emergency Message from Embassy Ouagadougou, there is no Travel Warning or Alert issued on Burkina Faso as of this writing. The latest State Department statement is dated October 30, and obviously had been overtaken by events.
The United States welcomes President Compaore’s decision to withdraw a National Assembly bill which would have amended the constitution and allowed him to run for an additional term of office. We also welcome his decision to form a government of national unity to prepare for national elections and to transfer power to a democratically elected successor. We look forward to that transition taking place in 2015. We regret the violence and the loss of life today in Burkina Faso, and call on all parties to avoid further violence. We underscore our commitment to peaceful transitions of power through democratic elections and emphasize neither side should attempt to change the situation through extra-constitutional means.
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On April 11, 2013, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Dr. Tulinabo Salama Mushingi as his next Ambassador to Burkina Faso. The WH released the following brief bio:
Dr. Tulinabo Salama Mushingi, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Counselor, is Deputy Executive Secretary and Executive Director of the Executive Office of the Secretary of State. Previously, from 2009 to 2011, he was Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. From 2006 to 2009, he was Counselor for Management Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Other overseas posts include: Management Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Casablanca, Morocco (2001-2003) and General Services Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Maputo, Mozambique (1994-1996). His Washington assignments include: Supervisory General Services Officer in the Executive Office of the Secretary (2003-2006) and Counseling and Assignment Officer in the Bureau of Human Resources (1999-2001).
He began his career as a language and cultural trainer for the U.S. Peace Corps. Dr. Mushingi received a B.A. and an M.A. from the Institut Superieur Pedagogique in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo, and received an M.A. from Howard University and a Ph.D. from Georgetown University.
If confirmed, Dr. Mushingi would succeed career diplomat Thomas Dougherty who was sworn in as the 17th U.S. Ambassador to Burkina Faso on August 10, 2010.