Saturday, January 12, 2008

Last night, the nation television station here read a government communiqué regarding the murder that I wrote about yesterday. I didn’t see it myself, but today I received an article by email from Ramata Soré at L’Evenement, Burkina’s best newspaper. Yesterday’s rumours mostly had it right, but the money changer was the Burkinabé man and not the Lebanese.

The Ministry of Security has just announced that police in the Bogodogo neighbourhood in Ouagadougou have discovered the body of a young Burkinabé named Idrissa Ouedraogo, called Daouda.
According to the Ministry, he was murdered by a Lebanese man called Abas Damin, present in Burkina for the last 8 months. The killing took place the night of the 9-10 January 2008 at the home of the Lebanese. According to the announcement made on television, the Lebanese had called Ouedraogo, a money-changer, to his home under the pretext of wishing to exchange CFA francs for American dollars.
Once the crime was committed, Damin left Burkina. He was located in Abidjan by Interpol, but has not yet been apprehended. According to the announcement, the Lebanese community is also active in seeking the killer. The government asks the population to remain calm and practice restraint, promising that the crime will not go unpunished”.

The article then goes on to reprise the Kundé bar murders of last March. I’m not exactly sure why, as it has nothing to do with this case, as far as I can tell.
After the end of the piece, there are a few comments, one from someone signed “a Concerned Citizen”. Among other things, he complains that:

'This murder is the result of the real chaos that reigns in all the sub-Saharan nations and the demand that all foreigners
be treated like kings. So, it is by no means surprising that the latter, Européens or Arabs, turn out to be the worst cases. This culture of impunity towards foreign rich people, constantly supported by the corrupt police force, is very well known in Ivory Coast where many young men from Ivory Coast have been assassinated or wounded by weapons fired by foreigners. And even in Burkina, there are examples ,such as in Bobo where a young man was shot by... a rich Lebanese, because of a money problem between them.
I will avoid citing the Lebanese particularly, even though it is them in general who carry out these kinds of acts with the support of politicians and police officers greedy for briefcases full of cash. I will not to call for a popular uprising against this community, of which some members are now real Burkinabès and take an active part in the construction of our Nation. But we must recognise that a considerable number of foreigners think that this is still the Africa of the ' dirty negro slaves’ where everything is permitted to them .”

The next commenter remarked that “A Concerned Citizen” really needs to start a blog, as his remarks are so spot-on. It all gives an example of the negative general tone of the relationship between the Burkinabés and the large Lebanese population here.

So far there has been no public action. The Ouaga rumour network seems to say that there will protests at the funeral of Ouedraogo. Who knows?

1 comment:

somebird said...

thanks for these updates beth- i wouldn't get this news otherwise.