16 December 1998
WAJA suspects foul play in death of journalist Zongo, calls for enquiry
(WAJA/IFEX) - The following is a 16 December 1998 statement by WAJA further
to the death under suspicious circumstances of Burkina Faso journalist
WAJA is expressing deep shock further to the mysterious death of Norbert
Zongo, editor-in-chief of the "The Independent", a weekly publication in
Ougadougou, Burkina Faso on 13 December 1998.
Zongo, a fierceless critic of the Campoare government, is reported to have
been found dead in his vehicle on the road between the town of Sapouy and
Ougadougou. Zongo, who was also President of the Private Editors Guild, had
received several death threats in the past and had recently published
articles critical of the brother of President Blaise Campoare, accusing him
of some responsibility in the death of his chauffeur.
Three other persons travelling with him, his brother, the diver and one
other person are reported to have been burnt to death with their charred
bodies inside the vehicle. We find it strange that his vehicle was not
burned. Equally suspicious is our information that the rear door of the
vehicle was pierced with several holes which may have originated from a
We have every reason to believe, based on the suspicious manner of the death
of Zongo and the three others, that this could have been the work of hired
assassins or hired agents.
We are therefore calling on the government of President Blaise Campoare to
immediately set up an independent enquiry to determine the cause of Zongo
and the three others' deaths.
WAJA and the international community will not rest until the truth has been
established. Meanwhile, we call on our colleagues in Burkina Faso not to be
deterred by this death and urge them to continue to work for a free press in