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an inland republic in W Africa: dominated by Mossi kingdoms (10th--19th centuries); French protectorate established in 1896; became an independent republic in 1960; consists mainly of a flat savanna plateau. Official language: French; Mossi and other African languages also widely spoken. Religion: mostly animist, with a large Muslim minority. Currency: franc. Capital: Ouagadougou. Pop.: 13 393 000 (2004 est.). Area: 273 200 sq. km (105 900 sq. miles)