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Voters queue to vote at a polling station in Ouagadougou on November 22, 2020, during Burkina Faso's presidential and legislative elections.

Burkina Faso Commences Presidential Elections Despite Jihadist Attacks

Burkina Faso has gone ahead with the country's scheduled presidential elections despite continued attacks from Jihadist groups.

According to EWN, Burkina Faso went ahead with planned elections this past Sunday despite Jihadist threats which resulted in more than a fifth of the country not being able to vote. Additionally, opposition parties have been adamant about unseating current President Roch Marc Christian Kabore. According to Business Day news, Burkina Faso has been facing an unprecedented increase in Al-Qaeda related attacks which have destablised the country.


READ: 10 African Films That Deal With Protest Culture & History

For the first time ever, citizens living outside of Burkina Faso were reportedly allowed to cast their votes. BBC reports that Ivory Coast alone has over 1.7 million potential Burkina Faso voters. President Kaboré cast his vote at a school in Ouagadougou and encouraged people to do the same. Kabore has been president since 2015 and served under former President Blaise Compaoré who was president for three decades. Compaoré was ousted in 2014 and currently lives in exile.

Al Jazeera reports that the elections went relatively smoothly although some polling stations in the eastern region had to be closed because of safety concerns. Jihadists crossing over from Mali entered Burkina Faso about four years ago. Just last week, fourteen of Kabore's military soldiers were killed in a Jihadist ambush for which ISIS later claimed responsibility. Opposition parties have reportedly promised to host peace talks with the terror groups if voted into power. Kabore has reportedly refused this position and instead indicated increasing the number of security and army forces.

Kabore's government signed in a new electoral code this past August. The "extraordinary circumstances" code allowed for presidential and legislative elections to go ahead even if several polling stations cannot open. Opposition parties were dissatisfied by parliament invoking the new code and pledged an unofficial alliance as part of efforts to unseat Kabore in the elections. The change to the electoral code benefits Kabore's political party which has strong support from voters in areas that aren't affected by the violence, including Ouagadougou.

Kabore is, expected to win the election for a second presidential term. His main opposition are Zephirin Diabre, a former finance minister, and Eddie Komboigo, a candidate from the former ruling party. Results are expected to be in by the end of this week.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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