Burkina Faso: Historical Timeline

Burkinabé Rising
Photo credit: Benjamin Lebrave, Akwaaba Music



align="right"


To get the most recent news about film screenings and other updates, like us on Facebook here!



(Voir cette page en français.)


From independence from French colonialism in 1960 to a series of coups d'état in the 1980s to a popular insurrection in 2014, Burkina Faso has followed a tumultuous path to democracy. Below is a timeline of events prepared by BBC News. (To view the full timeline, click here.)



1896


Kingdoms now making up Burkina Faso become a French protectorate.

1919

Upper Volta becomes separate constituent territory of French West Africa.

1958

Upper Volta becomes autonomous republic within the French Community.

1960

Upper Volta becomes independent with Maurice Yameogo as president.

1966

Yameogo toppled in a military coup led by Sangoule Lamizana following unrest over a government austerity programme.

1970

New constitution approved in a national referendum allows Lamizana to remain in power until 1975, when he was due to be replaced by an elected president; Gerard Ouedraogo appointed prime minister.

1974

President Lamizana re-asserts authority by ousting Prime Minister Ouedraogo and dissolving parliament.

1977

New multi-party constitution promulgated, allowing President Lamizana to remain in office. He wins 1978 presidential election.

1980

President Lamizana is ousted in coup led by Saye Zerbo.

1982

Saye Zerbo is overthrown in a coup led by Jean-Baptiste Ouedraogo following industrial unrest.

1983

Capt Thomas Sankara takes power from Mr Ouedraogo in an internal power struggle. He adopts radical left-wing policies.



1984


Upper Volta renamed Burkina Faso.

1987

Thomas Sankara ousted and killed in a coup led by his close aide, Blaise Compaoré.

1990

Compaoré introduces limited democratic reforms.

1991

Compaoré re-elected without opposition under a new constitution.

1992

Compaoré's Organisation for Popular Democracy-Labour Movement wins a majority of seats in the first multi-party parliamentary elections since 1978.

1998

Compaoré wins presidential election by a landslide.

1999

June - General strike over economic grievances and alleged human rights violations.

1999

August - State-owned mining company Soremib announces the closure of the country's biggest gold mine.



2000


December - Government agrees to set up UN-run body to monitor weapons imports after allegations that it has been involved in smuggling arms to rebels in Sierra Leone and Angola.

2004

April - Military tribunal tries 13 people accused of plotting coup against President Compaoré in October 2003. Army captain Luther Ouali jailed for 10 years for masterminding plot.

2005

November - President Compaoré wins a third straight term in office.

2006

December - Burkina Faso postpones a regional economic summit after deadly gun battles between police and soldiers in the capital.

2007

May - The ruling party wins a majority in parliamentary polls.

2008

April - Two-day general strike follows weeks of protests about high living costs and call for wage increases.

2009

April - Parliament passes a law requiring at least 30% of candidates put forward for election by political parties to be women.

2010

July - France, US issue travel warnings, citing the possibility of kidnappings by al-Qaeda operatives.

2010

November - Gold mine officially opened. Premier Tertius Zongo says it will earn substantial revenue for the country.

2010

November - Presidential elections. President Compaoré gains another term in office.



2011


March - Weeks of violent protests follow the death of a student in police custody.

2011

April - Soldiers, presidential guards mutiny over unpaid allowances. Thousands of people protest over food prices.

2011

July - Seven people are killed when government forces suppress mutiny in Burkina Faso's second city, Bobo Dioulasso.

2012

January - President Compaoré sacks head of Burkina Faso's customs service, Ousmane Guiro, following the seizure of nearly $4m in two large suitcases traced by police to Mr Guiro.

2012

November - President Compaoré mediates talks to resolve the crisis in Mali, where Islamists have taken control of the north.

2013

April - International Court of Justice in The Hague settles a decades-old border dispute between Niger and Burkina Faso.

2013

July - Thousands of demonstrators take to the streets over plans to create a Senate. Opposition leaders say the move will allow President Compaoré to extend his rule.

2014

January - Demonstrators across the country oppose possible plans by President Compaoré to prolong his rule.

2014

January - Defectors from the ruling party found a new political movement to challenge the president.

2014

October - More mass protests against proposed constitutional changes to allow the president another five years in power turn into a mass uprising that drives President Compaoré from office.



2014


October - Military takes charge in move condemned by opposition, civil society groups, United States and African Union.

2014

November - Agreement reached on a framework for a transitional government to run the country until elections proposed for the end of next year. Political and military leaders choose former Foreign Minister Michel Kafando as interim president.

2015

April - Romanian security officer at a mine in the north is kidnapped. Islamist militants later claim to be holding him.

2015

April - Interim parliament bars politicians allied to deposed president Blaise Compaoré from running in the presidential and general elections planned for later in the year.

2015

May - Work starts on exhuming what is believed to be the body of former leader Thomas Sankara ahead of DNA tests to determine the identity and cause of his death.

2015

September - Acting President Kafando faces down coup attempt by presidential guard allies of Blaise Compaoré.

2015

November - Former prime minister Roch Marc Christian Kabore wins presidential election, comfortably beating former Economy and Finance Minister Zephirin Diabre.

2016

January - Islamist militants attack a hotel and cafe in the capital, Ouagadougou, killing 29 people, many of them foreigners.