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Burkina Faso History Timeline

1000 - 1400

  • (1000s) Mossi Kingdom became dominant
  • (1300s) Islam was introduced
  • (1450s) Capital built at Ouagudougou by Mossi Kingdom
1700 - 1800
  • (1710 - 1895) Muslim rulers led Kong Empire, included Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast
  • (1895) Mossi kingdom of Ouagadougou defeated by French colonial forces
  • (1896) Burkina Faso became French protectorate
1900s
  • (1904) Territories of the Volta Basin became part of French West African colonial empire
  • (1915 - 1916) In Volta-Bani War, indigenous African army fought French Army; French Army defeated insurgents, executed leaders
  • (1919) Upper Volta became separate constituent territory of French West Africa
  • (1919) Colonial government separated present territory of Burkina Faso from Upper Senegal and Niger, named it Haute Volta; Francois Charles Alexis Edouard Hesling became first governor
  • (1932) Colony was dismantled, divided between Cote d'Ivoire, French Sudan, Niger
  • (1947) Colony was revived with its original boundaries, as part of French Union
  • (1958) Upper Volta granted internal self-government, became Republic of Upper Volta
  • (1960) Upper Volta gained independence from France; Maurice Yameogo became first president
  • (1965) Maurice Yameogo elected to second term
  • (1966) Mass demonstrations and strikes by students, labor unions, and civil servants were held, military was forced to intervene
  • (1966) Military deposed President Yameogo, suspended constitution, dissolved National Assembly, placed Lt. Col Sangoule Lamizana as head of government of senior army officers
  • (1968) Major drought severely impacted economy, agriculture, livestock and human population
  • (1970) New constitution in national referendum established four-year transition period toward civilian rule, allowed Lamizana to remain as head of government until a president was elected
  • (1970) Gerard Ouedraogo appointed prime minister
  • (1974) President Lamizana ousted Prime Minister Ouedraogo, dissolved Parliament, returned power to military government
  • (1975) Economic Community of West African States formed, Burkina Faso one of 15 members
  • (1977) New constitution written and approved, called for multi-party democracy, allowed Lamizana to remain in office
  • (1978) Lamizana reelected as president in open election
  • (1980) Lamizana ousted in military coup led by Saye Zerbo, eradicated 1977 constitution
  • (1982) Following industrial unrest, Saye Zerbo ousted in military coup led by Jean-Baptiste Ouedraogo
  • (1983) Thomas Sankara appointed prime minister
  • (1983) In internal political struggle, Thomas Sankara took power from Ouedraogo, formed National Council for the Revolution, established himself as president
  • (1984) Upper Volta renamed Burkina Faso
  • (1987) Thomas Sankara assassinated in military coup led by Captain Blaise Compaore who took over power
  • (1990) Blaise Compaore introduced democratic and constitutional reforms
  • (1991) Compaore elected president without opposition
  • (1992) Popular Democracy-Labour Movement won majority of seats in first multi-party parliamentary elections since 1978
  • (1996) 4,000 died in meningitis outbreak
  • (1997) Burkina Faso suffered severe drought
  • (1998) Campaore reelected president by a landslide
  • (1998) David Ouedraogo, chauffeur for President Campaore's brother, Francois, died from torture injuries caused by two of the President's bodyguards
  • (1998) Publisher and editor of l'Independant, Norbert Zongo, was assassinated
  • (1999) Inquiry into death of Zongo concluded he was killed for political reasons
  • (1999) General strike held over economic grievances and human rights violations
  • (1999) Mining company Soremib announced closure of country's largest gold mine
2000s
  • (2000) Two of President Campaore's bodyguards were convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison for murder of David Ouedraogo
  • (2000) Constitution was amended to allow president to serve two terms
  • (2000) U.S. and British diplomats accused President Compaore and President Taylor of Liberia of trading arms for diamonds, aiding rebels in Sierra Leone
  • (2000) Government agreed to allow UN-run organization to monitor weapons imports
  • (2001) Meningitis outbreak killed 3,500
  • (2001) Thousands fled to Burkina Faso from Ivory Coast to escape attacks on foreigners
  • (2001) As part of Burkina Faso's first "National Pardon Day", President Compaore asked for forgiveness for abuses that occurred during his 13-year rule
  • (2002) W135 strain of meningitis from Middle East identified in Burkina Faso; 12,000 infected, 1,500 died
  • (2002) President Compaore increased power, threw out all nine opposition ministers from Cabinet, cut number of posts from 36 to 31

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