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Burkinabe react as they listen to a lieutenant-colonel reading a press release by the army chief after the resignation of Burkina Faso's president in Ouagadougou on October 31, 2014 (AFP Photo/Issouf Sanogo)

Africa asks: 'If Burkina can do it, why can't we?'

November 1, 2014

Burkinabe react as they listen to a lieutenant-colonel reading a press release by the army chief after the resignation of Burkina Faso's president in Ouagadougou on October 31, 2014 (AFP Photo/Issouf Sanogo) Burkinabe react as they listen to a lieutenant-colonel reading a press release by the army chief after the resignation of Burkina Faso’s president in Ouagadougou on October 31, 2014 (AFP Photo/Issouf Sanogo)[/caption] News that Burkina Faso’s long-serving leader Blaise Compaore had been pushed out of power prompted an explosion of comment from across Africa Friday, with many citizens asking, “If they can do it, why can’t we?”

As images of tens of thousands jubilant Burkinabe were seen from Harare to Banjul, Twitter and other social media sites saw citizens pointing the finger at their own long-serving leaders.

“Let this be a warning to all African leaders who wish to cling on to power at all cost. Viva Burkinabe!” wrote Kwesi Asante in Accra, Ghana.

Some, like @lennoxin in Johannesburg, offered messages of support: “Super proud of the people of Burkina Faso, dictators have no place in the future of Africa, aluta continua!” (the fight continues).

Others sought to send a message that the days of life terms in office are coming to an end.

[caption id="attachment_13585" align="alignright" width="450"]People march against Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore's plan to change the constitution to stay in power in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, October 29, 2014. REUTERS/Joe Penney People march against Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore’s plan to change the constitution to stay in power in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, October 29, 2014. REUTERS/Joe Penney[/caption]

A total of nine African leaders have held power for more than 20 years.

“A warning to all African Leaders, ‘Hold power loosely, serve people wisely.’ Things are changing. Getting rid of you is not as hard,” wrote Frank Ondere in Kenya. Others looked to draw more local lessons from events half a continent away in Ouagadougou. Presidents in Angola, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Uganda, Sudan, Zimbabwe and elsewhere came under direct fire from their citizens.

“If Burkina Faso can do it, Why not UGANDA?” asked one Twitter user in Kampala, another in Zimbabwe said, “Mugabe to be next!”

But not everyone was convinced that events in Ouagadougou heralded the beginning of an “African Spring”.

“Burkina Faso should be a wake-up call for the Obiangs, al-Bashirs, Musevenis, Dos Santos & other African leaders for life, but probably not,” wrote Namibian former newspaper editor @Gwenlister1.

*Source AFP/Yahoo]]>

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One response to “Africa asks: 'If Burkina can do it, why can't we?'”

  1. Jerome Almon says:

    Long live the spirit and advancement of the Great Thomas Sankara!
    Today Burkina Faso tomorrow the Continent. We must have governments and leaders that are beholden to Africans FIRST. Thomas Sankara, Jerry Rawlings, and the ANC Youth League were right, and their new AFRICAN philosophy must be adopted for the entire continent of Africa and its 54 nations.
    AMANDLA!

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