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Burkinabe politician
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Political Leaders
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09/09/2017

The Burkinabe people observed three days of national mourning following the death of Salif Diallo on 19 August 2017. He passed away at the age of 60 following a long battle with cancer. Diallo was the former president of the National Assembly and had been one of Burkina Faso’s most prominent political figures over the past 30 years. Several thousand people, including presidents Alpha Condé of Guinea and Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, attended in the funeral ceremony. For a long time, Diallo was a close ally of Blaise Compaoré, the former president. Diallo started his political career as Compaoré’s cabinet director during the revolution led by Thomas Sankara (1983-87). He then occupied a number of different government positions under Compaoré’s regime. Known for his political instinct and excellent diplomatic skills, he was nicknamed “Gorba,” a reference to former Soviet leader Mikhaïl Gorbatchev, and he was known as the “strong man of Yatenga,” his home region in northern Burkina Faso. In 2008, Diallo fell into disfavour with Compaoré and was pushed out of national politics just as he became the country's ambassador to Austria. His revenge came in 2014, when he allied with current President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré and Simon Compaoré, to form the “Mouvement du peuple pour le progrès,” a new opposition party to battle against Blaise Compaoré’s “Congrès pour la démocratie et le progress." Moreover, Diallo is said to have actively supported the attack on the National Assembly that prevented the constitutional vote that would have paved the way for Blaise Compaoré to serve another term. He is also said to have contributed to the popular uprising that ousted Blaise Compaoré in October 2014. After the upheaval, Diallo was elected as president of the National Assembly in December 2015, a position that he occupied until his death.

 

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