You know those serious blogs? The ones that actually give you useful or interesting information? Well, this is generally not one of them. But today I DO have some breaking news that is nowhere to be seen on the Web yet. There’s crazy stuff going on here and nothing at all about it even on radio news. The schools have all been closed and everyone is waiting to see what is going to happen next. I don’t have lots of info, but here’s the basics: Last night a member of the CRS (the Burkinabe riot police) and a soldier got into an altercation and the “militaire” was killed. The two groups hate each other and this was just the excuse needed for their feud to escalate. This morning, a group of soldiers murdered a police officer in retaliation……No rioting has been reported, but there are big groups of pissed off, armed soldiers and riot police stomping around the middle of town, hating on each other. Sounds like a good place to steer clear of. The French Embassy has warned it’s citizens to keep a low profile (eg. stay home). Strangely enough, no word from the US Embassy. I’m a warden and I am supposed to get notice of this kind of thing so I can contact all the citizens on my list….
I will probably venture out, despite warnings to the contrary. I have Papiers stuff to take care of. If I see anything interesting, I’ll be sure and post again today. If I get hit by a stray bullet, Ill get JP to post for me.
On a happier note, today is Severin’s 11th birthday! His grandparents sent him a Star Wars Lego set that must have cost over $100 and have over four billion pieces. He’ll probably have it assembled in less than an hour.
......Ok, here I am, back again seven hours later. This is really NOT even mildly amusing anymore. AT all.
I couldn't get online to post my blog before, so I headed out downtown. I didn't see anything unusual. I was lucky. Shooting started up again late this afternoon, not far from the US Embassy. They had to evacuate the Rec Center.
Email that I just received from the US Embassy:
The Embassy of the United States of America would like to alert U.S.
citizens in Burkina Faso to avoid downtown Ouagadougou in the vicinity
of the Central Police Station due to an ongoing conflict between the
police and contingents of the armed forces. Although details and the
origin of the conflict are still unclear, gunfire in the vicinity of the
Central Police station was reported around 11 or 11:30 a.m. today,
December 19 2006. The situation is currently under control, but there
could be the potential for more violence.
We just heard three low, loud explosions. Mortar fire. JP called a Burkinabe friend that lives near the riot police headquarters. Isseuf says the police are under attack from military forces concealed in a park across from the camp.
The gun shots are getting louder and closer right now. We are really worried for Isseuf and his wife and kids. They live about 50 meters away from the police camp.
It is REALLY getting bad now. LOTS of machine gun fire. It's pretty near. The CRS camp is less than a mile from our house. I am a tad bit worried for us now.
JP has heard that the President isn't going to step in and stop this. The risk of it turning into a coup d'etat is too great.
There is SO much shooting going on. Unless they are really bad shots, there are going to be a lot of dead and injured.
NOTHING on the local news now. Nothing.
The gunfire is almost constant now.
The kids are pretty calm. Except Mallory is getting a little scared.
JP is trying to explain it all. Who can explain one group of people wanting to kill another group? There's no explanation.
What a Christmas this will be. Peace on Earth?