Carina Brawner

Carina Brawner

Published: 13 Sep 2023


Blaise Compaoré, the former president of Burkina Faso, is a man shrouded in secrecy and controversy. With a political career spanning over 27 years, Compaoré ruled the West African nation with an iron fist, leaving an indelible mark on its history. Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Compaoré’s story is filled with astonishing facts that will leave you in awe. From his rise to power to his dramatic fall from grace, these 13 unbelievable facts about Blaise Compaoré will take you on a journey through the tumultuous political landscape of Burkina Faso.

Table of Contents

Rise to Power

Blaise Compaoré, born on February 3, 1951, was a military officer who served as the President of Burkina Faso for nearly three decades. He came into power in 1987 following a coup d’état where he seized control of the government.

The Longest-Serving President

Blaise Compaoré holds the record for being the longest-serving president in the history of Burkina Faso. He remained in office for 27 years, from 1987 until his forced resignation in 2014.

Economic Reforms

During his tenure, Compaoré implemented significant economic reforms that aimed to boost Burkina Faso’s development. His policies focused on improving infrastructure, increasing foreign investment, and promoting agricultural productivity.

Reconciliation with Thomas Sankara’s Family

Following the assassination of Thomas Sankara, Compaoré’s predecessor, in 1987, there was a long-standing feud between the two families. However, in 2014, Compaoré publicly reconciled with Sankara’s family, expressing remorse for the events that took place.

Response to Social Unrest

During his presidency, Compaoré faced several instances of social unrest and protests. In 2011, he responded to these demonstrations by lifting the state of emergency, releasing detained demonstrators, and promising political reforms.

Regional Mediator

Compaoré played an active role as a mediator in regional conflicts. He successfully brokered peace agreements in countries like Ivory Coast, Mali, and Togo, demonstrating his diplomatic skills and influence in the region.

Push for African Integration

Blaise Compaoré was an advocate for African integration and played a crucial role in regional organizations such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU).

Controversial Constitutional Amendments

One of the most controversial aspects of Compaoré’s presidency was his attempt to change the constitution to extend his term limits. This led to widespread protests and ultimately culminated in his resignation in 2014.

Exile in Ivory Coast

After leaving Burkina Faso, Compaoré sought refuge in Ivory Coast. Despite facing charges in his home country, he continues to live in exile, enjoying political asylum granted by the Ivorian government.

Ongoing Legal Proceedings

Even in exile, Compaoré is still entangled in legal proceedings. He faces charges of corruption, murder, and human rights violations, with efforts being made to hold him accountable for his actions during his time in power.

Influence on Burkinabe Politics

Despite no longer being in office, Compaoré still wields influence over the political landscape of Burkina Faso. His party, the Congress for Democracy and Progress, remains active and contested in subsequent elections.

Legacy and Divided Opinions

Compaoré’s legacy is a subject of intense debate. While some acknowledge his contributions to economic development and regional stability, others criticize his authoritarian regime and human rights abuses.

Challenges for Burkina Faso

Following Compaoré’s resignation, Burkina Faso faced several challenges, including the struggle for political stability, security threats from militant groups, and the need to address the grievances of its citizens.


In conclusion, Blaise Compaoré’s life and political career are filled with intriguing and astonishing facts. From his rise to power at a young age to his long reign as the President of Burkina Faso, Compaoré’s influence and impact on the country are undeniable. His ability to maintain control for over two decades made him a dominant figure not only in Burkina Faso but also in the African political landscape.The 13 unbelievable facts about Blaise Compaoré shed light on the intriguing aspects of his life. From surviving several assassination attempts to his pivotal role in regional conflicts and his luxurious lifestyle, Compaoré’s story is nothing short of extraordinary. Regardless of one’s stance on his leadership or the criticisms that surround his legacy, it is undeniable that Blaise Compaoré left an indelible mark on Burkina Faso’s history.


1. How did Blaise Compaoré come to power?

Blaise Compaoré came to power in 1987 following the assassination of President Thomas Sankara. Compaoré was the Deputy Head of State under Sankara but took control after the coup.

2. Was Blaise Compaoré involved in any regional conflicts?

Yes, Compaoré played a significant role in mediating regional conflicts, particularly in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Ivory Coast. He played a crucial role in negotiating peace agreements in those countries.

3. How long did Blaise Compaoré serve as President?

Blaise Compaoré served as the President of Burkina Faso for 27 years, from 1987 to 2014.

4. Are there any controversies surrounding Blaise Compaoré?

Yes, there are several controversies surrounding Compaoré, including allegations of corruption and human rights abuses. His decision to amend the constitution to extend his term limit sparked massive protests that ultimately led to his resignation in 2014.

5. Did Blaise Compaoré face any assassination attempts?

Yes, Blaise Compaoré survived several assassination attempts throughout his tenure as President, demonstrating his ability to navigate through tumultuous times and maintain his grip on power.

6. What happened to Blaise Compaoré after he resigned?

After his resignation, Compaoré fled to Ivory Coast, where he currently resides. He is still sought for his alleged involvement in the assassination of Thomas Sankara.