Burkina Police Out in Force for Anniversary of Reporter Death
Police were out in force Wednesday in Ouagadougou ahead of a demonstration called to mark the second anniversary of the murder of popular investigative journalist Norbert Zongo.
Security forces had by 7:00 a.m. (0700 GMT) cordoned off the central Place de la Nation, where a group called the Collective against Impunity had told supporters to gather, despite a government ban on public demonstrations imposed last week.
Zongo, a popular and outspoken journalist and managing editor of the weekly L'Independant, was found dead in his car on an empty stretch of road outside Ouagadougou on December 13, 1998.
His death unleashed a wave of unrest with an independent inquiry concluding soon afterwards he had been killed. Members of the presidential guard were pointed to as "serious suspects," but no one has yet been tried or convicted.
Police were early Wednesday manning the main arteries of the capital Ouagadougou and there were several patrols, an AFP journalist saw.
On Tuesday dozens of reporters and rights officials who tried to get to the site of Zongo's murder, in Sapouy, 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of the capital, were turned back by the police.
On the first anniversary of his death last year, some 10,000 people demonstrated in Ouagadougou.
The ban on public demonstrations was imposed after police shot dead a 12-year old schoolboy during violent clashes between security forces and demonstrators near the capital -- OUAGADOUGOU (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)