Ouagadougou – Authorities in Burkina Faso have arrested three former ministers from the government of deposed dictator Blaise Compaore, their party said on Tuesday, claiming “harassment” by the current rulers.
Former interior minister Jerome Bougouma, infrastructure minister Jean-Bertin Ouedraogo and mining minister Salif Kabore were arrested on Monday and Tuesday, said Leonce Kone, from Compaore’s formerly ruling CDP party.
The former ministers are among a string of figures connected to the old regime who have been arrested in recent days.
“They have been scattered into several detention centres,” Kone told AFP, accusing the authorities of “harassment”.
Two security sources confirmed the arrests but did not give details.
Kone added that two former mayors, including the current secretary-general of the CDP party, were arrested in Burkina Faso’s second city Bobo Dioulasso.
“The police suspected them of wanting to prepare an insurrection from Bobo Dioulasso over the electoral law vote,” he said.
A security source said authorities also arrested a former mayor of the West African capital on charges of embezzlement.
Burkina Faso’s interim parliament will vote on Tuesday on a draft electoral law backed by the government, which would exclude figures linked to Compaore from running for office.
The minority CDP party has warned it will oppose the draft, and civil society groups on both sides of the divide have called for demonstrations over the law.
Brief clashes broke out in the capital on Tuesday pitting protesters against police.
On Monday, Security Minister Auguste Denise Barry warned “trouble-makers” that his forces would detain “anyone guilty of disturbing public order”.
The head of a pro-Compaore association was arrested last Thursday, also over alleged embezzlement.
Compaore held power for 27 years, but stepped down on October 31 2014, after angry mass rallies opposing a bid to amend the constitution to allow him to stay in power.
Officials from a party that supports presidential hopeful Djibrill Bassole, the ex-dictator’s chief of diplomacy, were also briefly held on Sunday, the party and a security source said.