A UN source in Ouagadougou told IRIN today that a huge crowd was attending the funeral today of a respected and outspoken journalist, Norbert Zongo, who died in a car accident over the weekend in unclear circumstances. There was some fear that the situation could turn violent at the end of the ceremony.
Zongo’s body was among “four charred corpses found in the car”, while the outside of the car was not burnt, a Reporters Sans Frontieres statement received by IRIN said. It added that the car’s rear door had several holes in it which “could have been caused by gunfire”. The RSF, a Paris-based press watchdog, called for an investigation saying that the circumstances surrounding Zongo’s death were “troubling and require clarification”.
Zongo was the publisher of a weekly ‘L’Independant’ and a staunch supporter of the rights of the downtrodden, another source told IRIN, adding that he was apparently investigating some improper conduct within government circles.
On Tuesday hundreds of students took to the streets in the capital to protest about Zongo’s death and looted partially the office of the ruling party, the Congress pour la Democratie et le Progres (CDP). Police used tear gas on the crowd and arrested an unknown number of students.