Burkina Faso’s President Dismisses Military Chiefs of Staff

April 17 (Bloomberg) -- Burkina Faso’s president, Blaise Compaore, fired the chiefs of staff of the country’s army, air force and police after dismissing his government.

General Kodji Lougue of the land forces, General Abraham Traore of the air force and Colonel Zambo Martin Zongo of the police were replaced by their assistants, according to a statement broadcast on national television.

Compaore has already dismissed his government and the head of the presidential guard after demonstrating soldiers fired in the air and looted parts of the capital, Ouagadougou. Many businesses were closed yesterday in the city as shop owners protested against the looting.

Burkina Faso, sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest cotton producer, has been in turmoil since student demonstrations in February against the death of a pupil in police custody. On March 22, soldiers protested a court decision sentencing officers to prison. Compaore, who took power in a 1987 coup, fled Ouagadougou April 14 after some members of his presidential guard mutinied, returning to his presidential palace the following day.

Burkina Faso, which borders Mali, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Niger, ranks 161st out of 169 nations on the United Nations Human Development Index, a broad measure of economic and social well-being.

To contact the reporters on this story: Simon Gongo in Ouagadougou via Accra at ebowers1@bloomberg.net; Jason McLure in Accra at jmclure@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Barden at abarden@bloomberg.net.