Burkina Faso. According to Countryaah, the International Court of Justice in The Hague (ICJ) decided in April an old border dispute between Burkina Faso and Niger. In 2010, the countries had turned to the court to resolve the conflict that had existed since 1927, when both countries were under French colonial rule. Burkina Faso and Nigeri had previously tried to resolve the conflict themselves without results. The ICJ adjusted the limit in some places, and the governments of both countries were satisfied with the outcome which they thought was fair. According to the governments, the border demarcation is important for the patrol of the security forces and for tax collection. In addition, metals are extracted in the border area and gold has been found.
Thousands of people demonstrated on some occasions in June and July against the government’s plans to establish a new Senate. The former upper house was abolished in 2002 and Parliament now consists of a chamber, the National Assembly. In May, the National Assembly approved the establishment of a new Senate, and in July 39 local representatives were elected to the new Senate, which will consist of 89 members. 29 of the members are to appoint President Blaise Compaoré himself. Opposition leaders fear that Compaore’s purpose with the Senate is to retain power. They believe he will use the Senate to repeal the new constitution, which will only allow a president to sit for two terms. Compaoré, who has ruled the country since 1987, is not entitled to stand in the 2015 presidential election.
The protesters are also critical of the costs involved in setting up a Senate. The president himself has not said anything about his plans, but the government claimed that the upper house will not burden the state budget and that it will strengthen democracy in the country.
Demonstrations against the Senate were held both in the capital Ouagadougou and in other locations. In July, thousands of workers also demonstrated around the country at higher prices for basic commodities such as rice and sugar. Prime Minister Luc Adolph Tiao promised that the government would start talks with the unions about the increased cost of living.