Burkina Faso army backs new leader

Burkina Faso Army

Burkina Faso army chiefs have backed a military officer as transitional president.

In a statement, the army said Lieutenant Colonel Isaac Zida was “chosen unanimously to lead the transition period”.

This appears to end confusion over who has succeeded President Blaise Compaore, who stood down amid unrest.

The statement was signed by army chief General Honore Traore, who had earlier declared himself head of state.

Mr Compaore, who quit after 27 years as president, fled the country and is now in Yamoussoukro, the capital of neighbouring Ivory Coast.

A statement from the office of President Alassane Ouattara said Ivory Coast took in Mr Compaore, his family and those close to him and was paying “particular attention” to events in Burkina Faso, news agency AP reported.

The BBC’s Thomas Fessy, monitoring events from Senegal, says celebrations at Mr Compaore’s departure are being replaced by concerns that this popular uprising may have been jeopardised by yet another military coup.

Lt-Col Zida, previously second in command of the presidential guard, was, like Gen Traore, very close to the former president, and his rise raises questions over the army’s intentions.

Under the country’s constitution, the president of the Senate should take over after the national president resigns, with elections taking place between 60 and 90 days afterwards.

Protests began earlier this week after Mr Compaore sought to amend the constitution and extend his long hold on the presidency.

On Thursday, protesters set fire to parliament and government buildings in the capital, Ouagadougou.

source : BBC