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Blaise Compaoré
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Became PresidentOctober 15, 1987
PredecessorThomas Sankara
Date of BirthFebruary 3, 1951
Place of BirthOuagadougou

Blaise Compaoré (born February 3, 1951) has been the president of Burkina Faso since 1987. He is the founder of the ruling political party, the Congress for Democracy and Progress.

Compaoré was born in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. He reached the rank of Captain in the Burkinabé army, and served as Minister of Justice during Thomas Sankara's presidency. Compaoré met Sankara in 1976 in a military training center in Morrocco, and since then Compaoré and Sankara were supposed to be close friends. Compaoré played a major role in the coups d'état against Saye Zerbo and Jean-Baptiste Ouedraogo.

He became president of his country on October 15, 1987 in a bloody coup that killed Sankara, his predecessor as president. Compaoré described the killing of Sankara as an "accident". Upon taking the presidency, he reverted many of the policies of Sankara, claiming that his policy was a "rectification" of the Burkinabé revolution.

Soon after became President he also eliminated two major revolutionary leaders, Henri Zongo and Jean-Baptiste Boukary Lingani, accused of plotting against the regime.

The accession of Compaoré to the Presidency of the Faso gave the country a political stability it had previously lacked. Compaoré gave Burkina Faso democratic institutions and increase freedom of the press. However, President Compaoré and his Presidential Guard have been implicated in the death of reporter Norbert Zongo and continued intimidation of the media in Burkina Faso, according to the international organization Reporters Without Borders.

Compaoré was also sued for assassination by Mariam Sankara, Thomas Sankara's widow. He has proposed a "National Reconciliation" that is not widely supported by his opposition.

Preceded by:
Thomas Sankara
President of Burkina Faso Succeeded by:
-

External links

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