Friday, February 22, 2008

Still no internet at home, so I have once again ventured into the city center to post the latest news, which is there is lots of and check emails. Yes, I was finally just now able to get at my messages, but I still can’t send any.

Here’s the lastest:

While Ouaga has escaped any violent protests this week, other towns in Burkina have not been so lucky, as I explained yesterday. Bobo and Ouahiagouya exploded on Wednesday and one death has been reported, along with lots of damage throughout the town. Even today most people there are staying hoem and many businesses are closed- that’s the word from Mahama’s nephew that lives there, anyway.

Yesterday afternoon brought reports that protests and rioting had begun in Banfora. It’s a moderately sized city in the far west of the county. Kind of charming. The sugar industry is based there and it’s also near many tourist attractions, so it’s quite an important place here. I don’t have any specific news yet about how much damage has been done .

Many people here believe that this is not the end of the troubles, by any means. Until the government forces vendors to adhere to the price controls already in place and adds controls on other necessities, protests will spread. Rumors and printed flyers are multiplying. Yes, the protest factions are actually organised, to a degree. Ouagadougou’s protest demonstration is “officially” scheduled for Feb 28. But the rumors are more diffuse- The protest here could be on Monday, Thursday, Friday, or all three, if folks are really enraged.

This in mind, I went to the grocery store to stock up on supplies. I found the center of town choked with soldiers, Russian-made machine guns slung across their backs or carried for more convenient access. Looks like the government wants to discourage any ideas of a protest here in the capital.
I quickly did my shopping and headed over here to the cybercafé to post this. Then I’ll grab the kids at school and get them back to our calm, soldier-free neighbourhood.

With all the unrest around here, I listen to the radio more often. Reports of the rioting of the past two days even made it onto RFI (Radio France International) It's the French national news station- similar to NPR in the USA. Eldest Daughter calls it “RFB” -Radio France Boredom.

I am out of time. And I doubt I’ll be able to post on the weekend. Saturday we are having the twins’ birthday party, so I’ll probably be busy all day.


babzee said...

Happy Birthday, Mal n Al!!

Anonymous said...

Glad to read about my country while living far away somewhere in Europe. Thanks for your relevant article about BF and Happy birthday to the kids.