What they say about Blaise

“If Compaoré manages to retain power after 2015, if he becomes a key player in cementing the peace in Cote d’Ivoire and engineering one in Mali and if he fosters further development in Burkina Faso then he may never need to invoke his amnesty clause in the constitution. He will certainly never achieve the stature of a Mandela, but he can make a positive mark on the history of West Africa in the 21st Century.
If, however, the energy of the Arab spring heads south and leaders like Compaoré are forced to yield to the legitimate democratic aspirations of the people then, like Mubarak, Assad and his old friend Qhadafi he may find himself on the wrong end of a very demanding stick.”

Michael Keating, Lecturer in International Relations
University of Massachusetts, Boston, 2012

“ It’s true, I saw Blaise in Abidjan.” And when I saw Blaise, I said to him: Great Brother Blaise, thank you, infinitely for avoiding a bloodbath in Burkina Faso. You left, you had to do it, and I would like to tell you sincerely from the bottom of my heart, that I appreciate your courage, you have saved thousands of lives of our brothers and sisters of Burkina Faso ”

Alpha Blondy
Reggae Star
October 2, 2016

No official slogans nor giant posters of the Head of State can be seen in the streets of Ouagadougou; it is a far cry from the personality cult prevailing in other African States. The freedom of the press exists, and Compaoré is often caricatured in the newspapers… “The ex-putschist redeems his image as a man of peace, and gains a flattering reputation on the international scene. Now the intercessor for democracy and the creator of stability in West Africa, he establishes himself as a key player in conflicts waged in Togo, Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritania, and Darfur.”

Le Figaro, October 31, 2014

“President Blaise Compaoré contributed to the effort of bringing to Liberia. It is hence normal for us to come to Ouagadougou and thank him for what he has done for Liberia, notably to restore peace.”

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, January 17, 2010

“I am not going to Côte d’Ivoire to meet with Blaise Compaoré! He left Burkina Faso in circumstances we all know and Côte d’Ivoire has accepted to keep him, which is an exception since people in this kind of situation rarely reside next door, near the border.”

Roch Kaboré, President of Burkina Faso
interview Fraternité Matin, July 2017

“President Compaoré is a constructive force for peace and stability in the region, sharing the goals of advancing democracy and human rights in Africa, especially in Zimbabwe and Sudan.”

George W. Bush, President of the United States, White House, Sep. 2008

“Mr. Compaoré, a former soldier, coup leader and political godfather of Charles Taylor, is not the most reliable man to preach democracy and civilian rule.”

Louise Arbour, president of International Crisis Group
Opinion Page, New York Times Nov. 2009

“Compaoré, a former army captain, has held power since ousting populist president Thomas Sankara as an army captain in 1987. With his Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP) party, Compaoré went on to win Burkina Faso’s first democratic elections in 1991.
In December 2012, President Blaise Campaoré’s Congress for Democracy and Progress party won a majority in concurrent parliamentary and municipal elections that were considered largely free and fair.”

Freedom House, 2013 and 2014

“Fortunately, Blaise Compaore turned out to be a reasonable and pragmatic leader after he deposed Sankara.”

Herman J. Cohen, former United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Moments of US Diplomacy, 2015

“Blaise Compaoré shouldn’t have done only one thing: trying to change the Constitution in order to obtain a 5th term.”

Smockey, Franco-Burkinabè rapper
protest mouvement “Balai citoyen,” 2015

“Last week, whilst conversing with “ordinary people” – many of whom engaged in the uprising – I was told by some of them that, given the way things are going, they might actually regret Blaise Compaoré’s departure. Although I obviously cannot go along with this, if only because I have been blessed with a certain ability to think, I can understand them. And for good reason.”

Daouda Ouédraogo, blogger from Burkina Faso Ph.D Student in Law
Université de Bordeaux, France, May 2016

“Head of State’s leadership was instrumental in producing a program that will help the poor in Burkina Faso build a better life for themselves and their children. Burkina Faso is a valued partner in the fight against poverty and we look forward to continuing our dynamic partnership during implementation.”

Ambassador John Danilovich, CEO Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)
July 14, 2008

“The Security Council wishes to once again pay tribute to the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), President of Burkina Faso Blaise Compaoré (“The Facilitator”), for his unremitting efforts in facilitating a direct inter-Ivoirian dialogue, which led in particular to the signature of the Ouagadougou Political Agreement.”

The UN Security Council, meeting 5820, 15 January 2008

“Bad Boy!”

A high official of the Côte d’Ivoire Presidency, July 2009

“He facilitated dialogue with his experience; this work is ongoing.”

Macky Sall, President of Senegal
on Compaoré’s mediation efforts in the Malian conflict
June 2, 2013

“A man of peace”

Elie Wiesel Nobel Peace Prize winner, Knesset, May 2008

“He was so focused on gaining regional omnipotence and being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize that he forgot his own flock, the erosion of time, and the growing feeling of boredom, not to mention the new generations’ irrepressible yearning for more freedom. Like a ship cast adrift, the reign ended of he who was only recently, by far, the all-round champion among West African Heads of State in terms of the number of years spent in power.
To his credit, he was “hard-working” – which even earned him the recognition of some of his opponents. He also had many valuable contacts, and a remarkable knowledge of the complex inner-workings of West-African economy and finance.
He was conscientious, punctual, and invariably kept all his appointments – even those made two months prior to the date.”

Radio France International (RFI), November 7, 2014

“The U.S. highly appreciates Compaoré‘s role in advancing “regional peace and security.”

John Kerry US Secretary of State
Washington D.C. Press conference, August 2014

“An active and high-profile advocate of a more global approach to cybersecurity.”

Dr Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary General, October 2011

“As the ECOWAS Mediator in the resolution of the conflict in Mali, he has helped the International Criminal Court deploy investigators in Mali. Blaise Compaoré is a “major voice for Africa.”

Fatou Bensouda,The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC)
Sep. 26 2013

“Monsieur Blaise Compaoré has lost his word of honour. He is oblivious to the promises made! Those days are over! When the people have had enough, they rise up, they demand, they expect. We shall not go against our people and the course of History! October 30th marked a cornerstone in History. I think that Monsieur Blaise Compaoré must understand all this.”

Bénéwendé Stanislas Sankara, President of the Sankarist party UNIR-PS and of the Front progressiste sankariste, interview RFI, Oct. 30, 2014

“President Compaoré wants to be seen to be playing a larger role than that defined by his small country, and he has admirably succeeded in doing just that.”
Robert Fowler, an Al-Qaida hostage was freed thanks to Compaoré’s intervention. A decade previously, Mr Fowler had written a scathing UN report that publicly accused him of “ involvement in the sanctions-busting conflict diamond trade in war-torn Angola.” When his al-Qaeda captors told him that Mr Compaore was the only regional leader willing to work to free him, Mr Fowler thought things “couldn’t get much worse.”
Instead, Mr Compaore was as good as his word and negociated his release.

Robert Fowler, an Al-Qaida hostage freed thanks to Compaoré’s intervention
former Canadian envoy for the United Nations

“The effects of Compaoré’s downfall are already being felt in West Africa. Although it is still too early to measure the exact impact on the sub-region, what we do know is that another head of state will hardly fill the political vacuum left by his departure. Indeed, Compaoré’s influence chiefly resided in the personal relationships and networks he forged during the 27 years of his presidency. No other current president in the region has been in power for that long.
The departure of such a strong and influential individual may be an opportunity for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), as an institution, to step into the void and be more assertive in the way it prevents and resolves conflicts.”

Institute for Security Studies (ISS), Dec.12, 2014