Burkina Faso on the Brink

In an attempt to salvage his 24-year hold on power, Burkina Faso's president, Blaise Compaore, has responded to mounting unrest in the West African nation by dissolving his cabinet and sacking the country's top military commanders -- hasty moves made early this week after soldiers, protesting over undelivered housing allowances, began looting parts of the capital.

While his goal may be to mollify angry demonstrators, Compaore is ultimately doing what "[Hosni] Mubarak tried to do and what [Zine El Abidine] Ben Ali tried," says David Shinn, a former U.S. ambassador to Burkina Faso, now at George Washington University's Elliot School of International Affairs.

"To change the names of the cabinet and, in this case, the heads of the military, I'm not sure that's going to be meaningful enough," Shinn told Trend Lines on Monday, adding that despite close geographic proximity to recent violence in Cote d'Ivoire, the present turmoil in Burkina Faso is notably more akin to what's occurred in Tunisia and Egypt.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.