Burkina Faso: Army declares power grab after resignation of President Blaise Compaoré


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Burkina Faso’s opposition parties and the African Union last night rejected the army’s seizure of power in the West African country after the resignation of President Blaise Compaoré, setting the stage for fresh protests.

The military named Lt Col Isaac Zida, deputy commander of the elite presidential guard, as head of state yesterday. The former president, Blaise Compaoré, resigned on Friday, after two days of violent protests.

Senior military officials held talks yesterday aimed at averting bloodshed, after Lt Col Zida declared himself head of state in an early morning radio address, overruling military chief General Honoré Traoré’s claim to lead the transitional government.

The African Union demanded the military hand power over to civilian authorities. It said its Peace and Security Council – which can impose sanctions for democratic violations – would discuss the situation tomorrow.

The Union for Progress and Change, the main opposition party, called for the army to open discussions on elections.