Sankara was young, ambitious, and charismatic, a popular hero of the 1975 frontier war with Mali. He was a strident anti-colonialist and Marxist. Tensions within the government grew until Sankara finally ousted the conservative faction and took over power on 4 August 1993, backed by a number of left-wing parties and trade unions. The following four years profoundly changed the country's political and social landscape as Sankara introduced many reforms. His foreign policy embraced socialist countries like Libya and Cuba, and he promoted an anti-imperialist ideology of autarchy and national pride; many foreign development organizations were forced to leave the county. Dropping the old colonial name, Upper Volta, and choosing the new name, Burkina Faso, was derived from the indigenous languages, but was perhaps the most symbolically important of his measures. The political leadership along with Comity for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), a mass organization with a presence in almost every village, encouraged mass mobilization and self-help. In Ouagadougou and other towns, vast housing programs were instituted; in the countryside, numerous schools and community clinics were built. Sankara also curtailed the elite's privileges: civil servants were dismissed or were forced to give parts of their salary for development projects; all traditional authorities were abolished, especially the powerful Mossi aristocracy. Drastic measures virtually eradicated corruption.