Burkina Faso Old History

By | January 2, 2023

Burkina Faso is an independent nation in Western Africa. With the capital city of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso 2020 population is estimated at 20,903,284 according to countryaah. When European colonization reached the area that today constitutes Burkina Faso, a number of different peoples lived there. Dominating was the mossi, which had established two major kingdoms: Wogodogo (Ouagadougou) and Yatenga. These were conquered by the French, who in 1919 founded the colony of Upper Volta. In 1947, the colony reached the same limits as today’s Burkina Faso. Upper Volta won its independence in 1960.

  • AbbreviationFinder.org: Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Burkina Faso, covering history, economy, and social conditions.

The peoples bobo, lobi and gurunsi were probably the first to settle in the area that today constitutes Burkina Faso. Mossi, which is now the country’s largest ethnic group, began migrating into the 1000s and organized itself into small kingdoms in the middle and eastern parts of the area. For Burkina Faso political system, please check cancermatters.

In the 15th century, the mossi founded the states of Wogodogo (Ouagadougou) and Yatenga which remained until around 1900. Ouagadougou was ruled by a king titled morho naba. The kingdom resisted constant recurring invasion attempts by the Muslim peoples songhai and fulani. Mossi traded with other important kingdoms in West Africa, such as Ashanti in present-day Ghana.

In the Middle Ages the kingdom of Gourmantche was also formed in the east. In the south and west, however, organized state formation was lacking.

European colonization reached the area in the late 19th century. The French conquered the Mossi kingdoms and in 1897 the entire present Burkina Faso was declared French protectorate. However, the chiefs, including morho naba, were allowed to remain as leaders.

The French colony of Upper Volta was created in 1919, when parts of surrounding French colonies were merged into a new unit. It was then broken apart again but was recreated for the last time in 1947 with today’s limits. Upper Volta was given the right to elect its own governing body in 1957 and the following year it was granted autonomous territory within the French Commonwealth. The country became independent on August 5, 1960.



Land grief following new attack in the north

24 December

35 civilian Burkinians, most of them women, and seven soldiers are killed in a military posting in the northern city of Arbinda by suspected jihadists. According to the authorities, some 80 jihadists are also killed in fighting between the rebels and local security forces. After the attack, a two-day country grief is announced. No group has assumed responsibility for the deed. The day after. on Christmas Day, at least eleven soldiers are killed in a new attack in the Sahel region. The escalating violence in the north has driven about half a million people to flight and since 2015 has claimed several hundred lives.

CFA franc will be eco 2020

December 21

Eight West African countries using the CFA franc regional currency agree in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, to change its name to eco. The intention is that it will continue to be linked to the euro, but the eight countries, Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo will no longer have to store 50 percent of their foreign exchange reserves in France and France should no longer have any representative on the board of the currency union. The intention is for the change to take effect in 2020. French President Emmanuel Macron, who is in place in Abidjan, says in connection with the fact that colonialism in Africa was “a serious mistake”. Critics of the CFA franc see it as a remnant from the colonial era, others as a guarantor of financial stability.

New violence in the north

December 3

About 20 people are killed in connection with the shooting of two army units in the northern part of the country. In Loroum Province, three soldiers are killed and four injured, while four soldiers are wounded in Sourou Province. According to security sources, about 20 suspected terrorists have been killed in a counterattack. The same sources claim that the government army has killed 76 jihadists since mid-November.

At least 14 are killed in church attacks

1 December

At least 14 people were shot dead during a church service in a church in the village of Hantoukoura in the eastern part of the country, near the Niger border. Even more people are injured, according to sources in the region cited by the BBC. The attack is carried out by a group of men, but it is unclear what motives are behind the act. In the past year, the Eastern region has been affected by increased violence from jihadist groups.


Burkina Faso accuses Mali of violating the border

November 19

Burkina Faso accuses Mali of having carried out an illegal operation on Burkese territory the week before, in which three people were killed. Representatives of the Malian defense say they followed the assailants who moved in across the border. The invasion, according to the Burmese military, must have occurred since a Burmese village inhabited by people from the Dozu people was attacked by Malayan people from the Fulani people. The Malian side, for its part, claims to have encountered representatives of the dozo who prepared themselves to defend themselves against fulanis.

The military kills 32 in two operations

November 17

Burkese military claims to have conducted two operations in the northern part of the country, killing 32 “terrorists”. Twenty-four of the deaths were claimed during an intervention in the village of Yorsala in Loroum province on November 15, where the military also claims to have exempted women who have been held as sex slaves. Eight human lives were claimed at the next operation on November 16 on the outskirts of Bourzanga in Bam Province. The data have not been fully confirmed by independent sources.

38 dead in assaults on mining companies

November 6

38 civilians are killed and 60 injured in an attack on a column of five buses from Canadian mining company Semafo about four miles from Boungou in the eastern part of the country. Most of the victims were local employees working in a gold mine, but the death rate is probably higher, as it is not known how many soldiers escorted the column who have lost their lives. This is the third assault against Semafo in 15 months. Death victims were also required in the earlier deaths, and since then the mining company has strengthened security. Semafo operates two mines in Burkina Faso. Earlier that week, five military police and five civilians were killed in another attack in the northern part of the country. This means that nearly 700 people have been killed in similar attacks since 2015. Several jihadist groups are suspected to be behind the death. Later, information emerges that the miners must have been worried about their safety and should have requested to be flown to the mine by helicopter that is done with the foreign personnel at Semafo. The company announces in December that operations will not be resumed until early next year, and that it is a prerequisite that the safety along the roads and in the region be strengthened.


14 dead in three attacks in the north

21 October

At least nine people, all civilians, are killed in the village of Zoura in Bam Province in the north of the country. The assailants arrive there shortly before the curfew comes into effect from half past seven in the evening and open fire on the villagers. They also rob a store and steal cattle. A few days earlier, on October 19, four soldiers and a policeman were killed in two other attacks in the north, in the northern provinces of Loroum and Yatenga. Jihadist groups are suspected of all of the three killings. Since 2065, around 600 people have been killed in connection with various assaults.

At least 20 dead in new assaults

October 13

At least 16 people are killed and two seriously injured in an attack on a mosque in Salmossi in the Oudalan region of the country’s north. Many people flee the area after the deed. On the same day, thousands of protesters gather in Ouagadougou to distance themselves from terrorism but also to protest against the foreign military being allowed to have bases in the country, which despite the growing violence is unpopular in Burkina Faso. On Sunday, four more people were killed in a new attack, this time in Samboulga, Loran Province in the north. According to data collected by the AFP news agency, nearly 600 people have been killed in the country since the wave of violence began in 2015, but domestic groups say the death rate is even higher.

At least 20 dead in attack on gold mine

October 4th

About 20 people are killed when a gold mine in Soum province in the north of the country is attacked by a group of armed men. It is unclear who is behind the attack, but the suspicions are directed at jihadist groups active in the area.


At least 17 dead in new assaults

September 29th

At least 17 people are killed in several attacks in the northern part of the country. Nine people are killed and several stores burn down. Later that day, nine victims were killed in an attack on another village in the same province. In a third act, a soldier is killed when an army unit is attacked. Various jihadist groups are suspected of having performed the death.

World Cup bronze for Burkina Faso

September 29th

A Burkinier Fabrice Zango wins bronze in three stages in the Doha Athletics World Cup in Qatar. This is the first time anyone from Buirkina Faso has won a medal in a world championship in athletics.

Over 580 dead in violence since 2016

September 23

At least nine people are killed in two armed attacks in the northern part of Burkina Faso. Jihadist groups are suspected of death. Since 2015, according to the AFP news agency, over 580 people have been killed in various acts of violence in the country. In most cases, various jihadist groups are believed to be behind the attacks.

Tear gas against protesters in Ouagadougou

September 16th

Protesters gather in Ouagadougou to protest against difficult economic conditions, the government’s inability to fight jihadist groups, and foreign troops being allowed into the country. They do so even though the demonstration has been banned by the authorities. However, the protest is stopped by the police, who put tear gas on the demonstrators. Trade unions and other civil society organizations organizing the protest are planning new similar demonstrations over the coming week.

West African leaders agree on new fund against terrorism

September 14

West African leaders agree to jointly spend $ 1 billion over the period 2020-2020 to combat the growing violence from militant Islamist groups in the region. It takes place at a meeting in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou. Attending the meeting are political leaders from the 15 countries that are part of the West African cooperation organization Ecowas as well as the Mauritanian and Chad presidents. The money should go to a common fund. How they should be distributed will be presented at an upcoming summit in December. Ecowa’s leader Jean-Claude Kassi Brou says that jihadists2,200 attacks have been carried out since 2015, which claimed a total of about 11,500 casualties, driven hundreds of thousands of people into flight. He calls on the UN to strengthen its peacekeeping force, Minusma, which has been stationed in Mali since 2013. There is also a special force, G5 Sahel, which Burkina Faso, Mali, Chad, Niger and Mauritania, launched together with France in 2017. But it suffers from a great lack of resources, and the force so far only consists of 4,000 soldiers not 5,000 who planned.

Violence forces 300,000 to flee

September 10

The increased violence in the country has forced nearly 300,000 people to flee, according to data from the UN and the International Red Cross Committee. At least 125 health care facilities have been attacked in various attacks, of which almost the booklet has been forced to close. This, together with the violence, means that about half a million people do not have access to health care. In addition, half a million people are at risk of food shortages.

Six policemen are killed in attacks in the north

September 9th

Six policemen are killed in an attack in Soum province in the north of the country. It is unclear who or who is behind the act, but several jihadist groups are active in the area.

At least 29 dead in new terrorist acts

September 9th

At least 29 people have been killed in two attacks in the northern province of Sanmatenga. In one, 14 civilian Burkinis are killed when a food transport column is attacked, according to the government. In the other, 15 people are killed and six are injured when a truck drives on a homemade explosive charge. According to information to the British media company BBC, supplies are stolen in connection with the death.

Long penalties for coup makers

2 September

Two Burmese generals are sentenced by a military court to long prison sentences for 2015 having organized a coup against the then transitional government (see September 2015). General Gilbert Diendéré, from the former presidential guard, is sentenced to 20 years in prison for murder and for damaging state security, while General Djibril Bassolé receives 10 years in prison for high treason. Both men were close to former President Blaise Compaoré. Compaoré is now in exile in the Ivory Coast. 14 people were killed and 250 were killed during the week that the military held power. The day after, Fatoumata Diendere, wife of one of the generals, is sentenced to an even longer prison sentence, 30 years, for, among other things, murder, ill-treatment and state security. A further eight people are sentenced to participate in the coup and are sentenced to ten to 30 years in prison. Colonel Traoré Abdoul Karim André, who is considered to have planned the coup, was also sentenced in his absence to a 30-year prison sentence (he has been on the run since 2015 and is believed to be in Togo). The same goes for former Sports Minister Émile René Kaboré, who learns to be in Ivory Coast.


The state of emergency is extended for six months

July 11

The Burkina Faso National Assembly extends the state of emergency in 14 of the country’s provinces for six months, until January 2020. The state of emergency, introduced in December 2018, gives security forces extra powers to fight jihadist violence in the country. Jihadist groups are suspected to have killed 450 people in Burkina Faso since the wave of violence erupted in 2015.


Criticism of new media team: threat to freedom of the press

21 June

The National Assembly in June 2019 approves a bill that states that anyone who spreads fake news and who reports on terrorism or the work of security forces in a way that “threatens the public order or can affect ongoing operations” can be sentenced to just over a fine and imprisonment for up to ten years. To enter into force, the law must also be approved by the president. Press freedom organizations and human rights organizations criticize the law, which they believe is a threat to freedom of the press in the country.

Dozens of dead in new jihadist acts

June 19

At least 17 people are killed in an attack on the village of Belehede in the northern part of the country. According to Defense Minister Cheriff Sy, jihadist terrorists are behind the act. An intensive military search is underway for the perpetrators. The following week, at least 15 people were killed in two new attacks in the northern part of the country.

At least 19 dead in attacks in the north

June 9

At least 19 people were shot dead in an attack on a village in the Arbinda district of northern Burkina Faso. The deed, which must have been carried out by about ten armed men. Arbinda has been hit by several jihadist acts lately, despite attempts to strengthen security in the area.

French court decides on extradition decision for ex-president’s brother

6th June

The Court of Cassation in France decides that François Compaoré, brother of the former president and suspect of involvement in the murder of journalist Norbert Zongo in 1998, should be extradited to his home country. They thus determine the outcome in the Court of Appeal at the end of 2018 (see December 2018). Before an extradition can take place, the French government must give its approval.


Six are killed in attacks on church

May 12

A group of between 20 and 30 men attack a Catholic church in the city of Dablo in the northern part of the country. Six people are killed, one pastor and five parishioners. It is unclear who is behind the act, but the violence from jihadists has increased dramatically in Burkina Faso in recent years.

Two soldiers are killed in connection with the hostage release

May 10

French special forces release four foreign nationals, two French, one American and one South Korea, held hostage in the northern part of the country. In connection with the exemption two French soldiers are killed. It is unclear who is behind the kidnapping. The day before, President Kaboré dismissed the governors of four regions hard hit by violence from jihadist groups.


At least twelve dead in two jihadist acts

April 27

At least six people are killed by a group of men attacking an Protestant church in Silgadji near Djibo in Soum province in northeast Burkina Faso. Two more people are missing after the attack. It is the first jihadist act against a church since the last wave of violence erupted in Burkina Faso in 2015. Reports also say six people were killed in an attack on a school in the village of Maitaougou in Koulpelogo province in the country’s east. Islamists are suspected of being behind the act.

Minister: over 60 dead in violence in the north

April 4th

62 people have been killed in jihadist attacks and subsequent ethnic strife in the Arbina area of the north of the country, according to Simeon Sawadogo, Minister of Territorial Affairs. Sawadogo claims that 32 people were killed by the jihadists, while the others fell victim to revenge attacks by kouroumba, fulani and mossi people and others.



Kidnapped teachers are found dead

March 20

Two teachers who were kidnapped from the city of Djibo in the northern part of the country on March 11 have been found dead. Jihadist groups who oppose the children receiving Western education are suspected to be behind the act. According to the government, teachers are threatened by jihadists who want to force them to leave the area. In recent months, the violence has forced more than 1,100 schools out of almost 2,900 in the three most vulnerable regions to close. Read more about the threat to schools here.

The MRI group accuses the military of summary executions

14th of March

The human rights organization MBDHP accuses the government of “summary executions” of some 60 people in connection with operations against jihadist groups. The military stated on February 5 that “146 terrorists” had been blamed for jihadist attacks in Cain, Banh and Bomboro in the north (see February 2019). MBDHP claims that there is no evidence that any fighting was going on in the area, and that it could have been confirmed that at least 60 cases were about extrajudicial executions. Most of the 146 victims belonged to the Fulani people. In the past, HRW has made similar allegations against the military in connection with operations carried out in 2017 and 2018.


Thirty suspected jihadists are killed in military operation

February 25th

Burmese military claims to have killed some 30 suspected jihadists in an operation in Kombienbiga, Kabonga and other regions of the eastern part of the country. Large quantities of weapons and ammunition have also been seized.

Fespaco is 50 years old

February 24th

Africa’s largest film festival, Fespaco, opens in Ouagadougou. The festival, which celebrates 50 years, is expected to receive around 100,000 visitors to the 450 film screenings. The festival is held every two years in the Burkinian capital. This time, the security push is greater than otherwise due to the increasing violence from jihadist groups.

Five dead in suspected jihadist deeds

February 16th

A 72-year-old Spanish priest was killed by suspected jihadists when he, along with several others, returned from a meeting in Lomé, Togo. In another attack nearby, four customs officials are killed when they are attacked by some 20 armed men near Nohao. In four years, more than 300 people have been killed in various assaults.

One million Burkinis in need of relief

February 14th

More than one million people in Burkina Faso now depend on emergency aid, according to the UN agency Ocha, which together with the Burkese government will try to raise $ 100 million in relief efforts. The money will go to food, water, housing, care and protection for the 900,000 people most severely affected. About 130,000 children are at risk of severe malnutrition. A thousand schools have been closed, which means that 150,000 children do not receive the education they are entitled to.

New army chief is appointed via decree

February 8

Through eight decrees , President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré appoints new leadership for the country’s military. In addition to a new army commander, new commanders are appointed for the country’s three regional commands.

The military: “Jihadist deeds require 14 lives”

February 5

14 civilians are killed in a jihadist attack in the city of Cain in Yatenta province, not far from the border with Mali, Burkese military claims. Representatives of the army later say that an operation has been carried out against the jihadists and “neutralized 146 terrorists” in three areas (see also March 2019).


Four soldiers are killed in attacks

January 28

At least four soldiers are killed when a group of heavily armed men attack a military base in Nassoumbou, Soum Province, near the Mali border.

Ten dead in suspected terrorist attack

January 27

At least ten people are killed in an attack on the village of Sikire in the northern part of the country, according to Burkina security sources. According to a local official with the news agency AFP, armed men have come to the village in rounds to kill villagers and loot shops. Several motorcycles should also be stolen.

Christophe Dabiré becomes new head of government

January 21st

Reverend Roch Marc Christian Kaboré appoints new Prime Minister via decree Christophe Dabiré. Dabiré held several ministerial posts, including those responsible for health and higher education, in the 1990s.

The government is leaving

January 19

Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba and his entire government resign. Nothing is said to explain the decision.

Kidnapped Canadians found dead

January 17

A Canadian geologist who was kidnapped by dozens of armed men at a gold mine in the northern part of the country, near the Mali and Chad border, has been found dead. It is unclear who is behind the deed. There are also suspicions that a Canadian and an Italian relief worker were kidnapped in December near the town of Bobo-Dioulasso in the southwestern part of the country.

Twelve civilians killed in jihadist attack

January 12

Twelve people are killed in a jihadist attack in the village of Gasseliki in the northern part of the country. A barn and six stores are set on fire at the same time. The deed is done in conjunction with a market held in the village.

The army commander is allowed to go

January 11

The country’s army chief Oumarou Sadou is dismissed by the president, via a decree. He is replaced by Moise Minoungou.

47 dead in ethnic violence in the north

January 4th

A jihadist attack on the village of Yirgou in the Barsalogo district of northern Burkina Faso demands seven lives, but at the same time triggers a conflict between the village mossi people and the livestock-eating fulanis that are in a camp setting. When villagers chase the assailants, they also attack the Fulani camp, accusing the people there of cooperating with the jihadists. According to a government spokesman, 47 deaths are required, including the villagers who were killed in the attack on Yirgou. President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré later visits the area and emphasizes that there is nothing that can justify this violence.

Burkina Faso Old History