Power struggle in Burkina Faso as another officer announces self as Head of State

Another military officer, Isaac Zida, a colonel and former presidential guard to ousted President, Blaise Compaore, has announced he is assuming responsibility as the country’s head of state.

Burkina Faso’s local media quoted Mr. Zida as making the declaration in Ouagadougou during a broadcast over a private television station on Saturday.

The announcement is coming barely 24 hours after Burkina Faso’s Army chief, Nabéré Traore, a general, declared himself head of state following Mr. Compaore’s resignation.

“I have now assumed the responsibilities of Head of State to ensure the continuity of the state pending the collective agreement of our people for a peaceful transition,” Mr. Traore said.

“I assure the entire nation that former President Blaise Compaore, who resigned on Friday, is safe and secure.”

The Compaore-led government came under attack following parliament’s planned amendment of Article 37 of the country’s constitution.

Thousands of Burkinabes stormed the streets of major cities protesting against the planned amendment and setting the National Assembly ablaze in the process.

The protesters feared that the amendment was planned to pave the way for Mr. Compaore to stay in office beyond 2015.

Reports say that some sections of the country were opposed to Mr. Traore’s emergence as the head of state following his closeness to Compaore.

It will be recalled that Mr. Compaore, who spent 27 years in office, was billed to vacate it in 2015 after a presidential election.

Mr. Compaore came into power in a 1987 coup against the then President, Thomas Sankara.


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