Burkina Faso Introduction - 2021


SOURCE: 2021 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

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Background

Many of Burkina Faso’s ethnic groups arrived in the region between the 12th and 15th centuries. The Gurma and Mossi peoples established several of the largest kingdoms in the area and used horse-mounted warriors in military campaigns. Of the various Mossi kingdoms, the most powerful were Ouagadougou and Yatenga. In the late 19th century, European states competed for control of the region. France eventually conquered the area and established it as a French protectorate.

The area achieved independence from France in 1960 and changed its name to Burkina Faso in 1984. Repeated military coups were common in the country’s first few decades. The last successful coup occurred in 1987 when Blaise COMPAORE deposed the former president, established a government, and ruled for 27 years. In October 2014, COMPAORE resigned following protests against his repeated efforts to amend the constitution's two-term presidential limit. An interim administration led a year-long transition period organizing presidential and legislative elections. In November 2015, Roch Marc Christian KABORE was elected president; he was reelected in November 2020.

Terrorist groups - including groups affiliated with Al-Qa’ida and the Islamic State - began attacks in the country in 2016 and conducted attacks in the capital in 2016, 2017, and 2018. By late 2020, terrorist attacks had resulted in approximately 4,000 deaths and over 1 million internally displaced persons. In addition to terrorism, the country faces a myriad of problems including high population growth, recurring drought, pervasive and perennial food insecurity, and limited natural resources. It is one of the world’s poorest countries.

 

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NOTE: The information regarding Burkina Faso on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Burkina Faso 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Burkina Faso 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

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