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[liberationtech] Sahel Spring

keitamh at keitamh at
Thu Sep 17 23:34:09 PDT 2015

Dear Richard:

I appreciate your putting Burkina on the radar of the community, especially
given that most Americans would not be able to place the country on a map.
That said, Interestingly enough, on Thursday and for a brief period of
time, Burkina Faso was surprisingly a trending topic on Twitter
<> in the United

If I may make one important observation: I would not use the term "Sahel
Spring" to describe what's happening with protesters now. The term itself
is problematic in the African context for a number of reasons, which I
explained in this article
I wrote last year.


Mo Keita
Contributing writer, Quartz Africa & True Africa
@M0Keita <>

On Thu, Sep 17, 2015 at 6:26 PM, Richard Brooks <rrb at> wrote:

> As a recap, about 1 year ago a popular uprising called Balai Citoyen:
> started by rappers and tech activists in Ouagadougou got
> a lot of the population in the street to protest moves
> by the President to prolong his 27 years in office.
> Ouagadougou is the capital of Burkina Faso.
> The military eventually asked the President to leave, and
> a transition government was put in place. Elections were
> planned for mid-October.
> Yesterday, the presidential guard held the interim government
> hostage and called off the elections. People close to the
> ex-President are leading this action by part of the military.
> Latest news:
> The studio of one of Balai Citoyen's founders was under attack.
> There is a curfew. Some dead protesters. Dozens wounded.
> Calls for more protests.
> Note that the Sahel Spring in Burkina Faso lead to a number of
> protest movements in Subsaharan Africa. Their actions lead to
> hope of democratic change.
> The question is whether the combination of rappers and tech
> activists can mobilize a large enough response to repel
> this attack.
> --
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