Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Blaise Compaoré

Blaise Compaoré (born February 3, 1951) is a Burkinabé politician who has been the President of Burkina Faso since 1987. He was a top associate of President Thomas Sankara during the 1980s, and in October 1987 he led a coup d'état that ousted Sankara; subsequently he introduced a policy of "rectification", overturning the left-wing policies pursued by Sankara. He won elections in 1991, 1998, 2005, and 2010.

Early Career
Compaoré was born in Ziniaré, 34 km from Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso (then named Upper Volta). He reached the rank of Captain in the Voltaïc army. Compaoré met Thomas Sankara in 1976 in a military training center in Morocco, and subsequently Compaoré and Sankara were considered close friends. Compaoré played a major role in the coups d'état against Saye Zerbo and Jean-Baptiste Ouedraogo. He has been married to Chantal Compaoré (née Chantal Terrasson) since 1985.

Under Sankara's leadership, which lasted from 1983 to 1987, Compaoré was his deputy and was a member of the National Revolutionary Council. He served as Minister of State at the Presidency and subsequently as Minister of State for Justice.  

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