16 April 2011

Africa's Next Meltdown: Burkina Faso?

There's a mutiny at the presidential barracks, and the elected leader is dropping out of sight.

Soldiers in Burkina Faso's capital have mutinied, with gunfire resounding throughout Ouagadougou overnight.

The BBC's Mathieu Bonkoungou says President Blaise Compaore is understood to have fled the presidential palace, where the trouble started at 2100 GMT.

Members of the presidential guard started shooting into the air in protest at unpaid housing subsidies.

Mr Compaore, in power since 1987, had sought to calm soldiers earlier this month after similar complaints.

Our reporter in the city says the unrest spread to other barracks and firing went on until just before dawn - it is unclear where the president went after he reportedly left the palace before midnight.

A source in the presidency has told the AFP news agency that he is now back in the capital after going to his hometown overnight but this has not been confirmed.

By: Brant

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