Burkina Faso. In January, President Blaise Compaoré dismissed the country’s defense minister, General Kouamé Lougué, and replaced him with a civilian. No explanation for the dismissal was given, but Lougué must have been interviewed in connection with the disclosure of a planned coup attempt in October 2003.
In April, a former army captain was sentenced to ten years in prison for planning the coup against President Compaoré. The captain, Luther Ouali, pleaded guilty and said his main motive was to try to remove the social gaps in the country. Of the other accused, six were sentenced to shorter prison sentences. Another six people, including Norbert Tiendrebeogo, leader of the opposition party Social Forces Front (FFS), were acquitted.
According to CountryAAH, the total population in Burkina Faso is 20,903,284 people in 2020. Ouali said in court that he had received financial support from a close associate of Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo to conduct the coup d’état. Gbagbo denied all involvement in the coup attempt and instead accused Burkina Faso of supporting the Ivorian rebels who tried to overthrow him.
In July, the Burkese government accused the Ivory Coast of violating the country’s airspace on several occasions during the year. The government threatened to shoot down aircraft if the violations continued. The Ivorian government denied that military planes would have been in Burkina territory. The rebel movement in Ivory Coast, which has no planes of its own, said they did not know of any flights over the neighboring country.
Relations between the two countries have been strained since the Ivory Coast civil war broke out in the fall of 2002. After the peace agreement in 2003, fighting broke out again in 2004, which meant a continuing difficult situation for the many Burkinians who live and work in the southern Ivory Coast.