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Burkina Faso


Introduction: Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) achieved independence from France in 1960. Repeated military coups during the 1970s and 1980s were followed by multiparty elections in the early 1990s. Current President Blaise COMPAORE came to power in a 1987 military coup and has won every election since then. Burkina Faso's high population density and limited natural resources result in poor economic prospects for the majority of its...

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People: Burkina Faso is an ethnically integrated, secular state. Burkina Faso's 16.3 million people belong to two major West African cultural groups -- the Voltaic and the Mande (whose common language is Dioula). The majority (60.5%) of Burkinabe are Muslim, but most also adhere to traditional African religions. Christians, both Roman Catholics and Protestants, comprise about 24% of the population, with ...

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International Relations: Burkina Faso hosts the headquarters of UEMOA (the eight francophone member Economic and Monetary Union of West Africa), and of CILSS (The Interstate Committee for Drought in the Sahel). Burkina Faso has strong links with Libya. There is evidence that Burkina Faso was involved in supporting the RUF rebellion in Sierra Leone (according to Sierra Leone's Truth and Reconciliation Report) and in supplying arms to Charles Taylor in Liberia in contravention of UN sanctions (as documented in various UN reports).

Since 2000, Burkina Faso has been preoccupied with the crisis in Cote d'Ivoire. Relations between the 2 countries have ...

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