Burkina Faso profile

A chronology of key events :

1896 - Kingdoms now making up Burkina Faso become a French protectorate.

1919 - Upper Volta becomes separate constituent territory of French West Africa.

1958 - Upper Volta becomes autonomous republic within the French Community.


1960 - Upper Volta becomes independent with Maurice Yameogo as president.

1966 - Yameogo toppled in a military coup led by Sangoule Lamizana following unrest over a government austerity programme.

1970 - New constitution approved in a national referendum allows Lamizana to remain in power until 1975, when he was due to be replaced by an elected president; Gerard Ouedraogo appointed prime minister.

1974 - President Lamizana re-asserts authority by ousting Prime Minister Ouedraogo and dissolving parliament.

1977 - New multi-party constitution promulgated, allowing President Lamizana to remain in office. He wins 1978 presidential election.


1980 - Mr Lamizana ousted in coup led by Saye Zerbo.

1982 - Zerbo overthrown in coup led by Jean-Baptiste Ouedraogo following industrial unrest.

1983 - Capt Thomas Sankara takes power from Mr Ouedraogo in an internal power struggle. He adopts radical left-wing policies.

1984 - Upper Volta renamed Burkina Faso.

1987 - Thomas Sankara ousted and killed in a coup led by his close aide, Blaise Compaore.

1990 - Compaore introduces limited democratic reforms.

1991 - Compaore re-elected without opposition under a new constitution.

Return to democracy

1992 - Compaore's Organisation for Popular Democracy-Labour Movement wins a majority of seats in the first multi-party parliamentary elections since 1978.

1998 - Compaore wins presidential election by a landslide.

1999 June - General strike over economic grievances and alleged human rights violations.

1999 August - State-owned mining company Soremib announces the closure of the country's biggest gold mine.

2000 December - Government agrees to set up UN-run body to monitor weapons imports after allegations that it has been involved in smuggling arms to rebels in Sierra Leone and Angola.

2004 April - Military tribunal tries 13 people accused of plotting coup against President Compaore in October 2003. Army captain Luther Ouali jailed for 10 years for masterminding plot.

2005 November - President Compaore wins a third straight term in office.

2006 December - Burkina Faso postpones a regional economic summit after deadly gun battles between police and soldiers in the capital.

2007 May - The ruling party wins a majority in parliamentary polls.

2008 April - Two-day general strike follows weeks of protests about high living costs and call for wage increases.

2009 April - Parliament passes a law requiring at least 30% of candidates put forward for election by political parties to be women.

2010 July - France, US issue travel warnings, citing the possibility of kidnappings by al-Qaeda operatives.

2010 November - Gold mine officially opened. Premier Tertius Zongo says it will earn substantial revenue for the country.

Presidential elections. President Compaore gains another term in office.

2011 March - Weeks of violent protests follow the death of a student in police custody.

2011 April - Soldiers, presidential guards mutiny over unpaid allowances. Thousands of people protest over food prices.

2011 July - Seven people are killed when government forces suppress mutiny in Burkina Faso's second city, Bobo Dioulasso.

2012 January - President Compaore sacks head of Burkina Faso's customs service, Ousmane Guiro, following the seizure of nearly $4m in two large suitcases traced by police to Mr Guiro.

January 2014 demonstration in Burkina Faso Demonstrators express opposition to possible plans to extend the president's term

2012 November - President Compaore mediates talks to resolve the crisis in Mali, where Islamists have taken control of the north.

2013 April - International Court of Justice in The Hague settles a decades-old border dispute between Niger and Burkina Faso.

2013 July - Thousands of demonstrators take to the streets over plans to create a Senate. Opposition leaders say the move will allow President Compaore to extend his rule.

2014 January - Demonstrators across the country oppose possible plans by President Compaore to prolong his rule.

Defectors from the ruling party found a new political movement to challenge the president.

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