Security forces prevented hundreds of supporters of former president Blaise Compaore from holding a demonstration in central Ouagadougou on Saturday, August 8, amid calls for the ousted leader to be allowed to return to the country. Several thousand Compaore supporters had been expected to attend the protest at the Maison du Peuple, but security forces deployed around the site and turned away those arriving for the event, stating that the gathering had been postponed by local authorities. The demonstrators dispersed peacefully and there were no reports of any significant violent incidents.
Further anti-government demonstrations are likely in Ouagadougou and other major towns and cities in the medium term ahead of general elections scheduled to be held in November.
Blaise Compaore has been residing in exile in Cote d'Ivoire since being ousted as president of Burkina Faso in a coup in October 2014, where he has so far avoided extradition on an international arrest warrant due to his dual Ivorian citizenship. The former president has seen his influence increasing among Burkinabe opposition groups in recent months amid increasing insecurity in the country and has offered to return to Ouagadougou to broker a peace deal with armed groups. However, the government has remained wary of Compaore's continued support and potential influence in November's general elections.
Those in Burkina Faso are advised to monitor developments, anticipate overland disruption in the vicinity of demonstrations, avoid all protests and political gatherings as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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