Army takes over power . . . in Burkina Faso

Posted by News Express | 31 October 2014 | 2,890 times

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Burkina Faso Chief-of-Staff Honore Nabere Traore has announced the sacking of government, dissolving of parliament and setting up a transitional body to run the country’s affairs.

The army also imposed a nighttime curfew from 7pm to 6am local time, according to the statement read out by Colonel Boubacar Ba on Traore’s behalf.

In the statement, Traore attributed these decisions to “the serious deterioration of the national situation… [and] the need to safeguard the country from chaos and ensure national unity and integration.”

“A transitional body will be set up after consultations with all active forces in the nation in order to pave the ground for the return to the normal constitutional order within a period of 12 months,” the statement said, without clearly stating whether the army took control of the country and without mentioning the fate of President Blaise Compaore.

The release came only moments after Compaore issued another statement, in which he announced only the sacking of the government and declaring the state of emergency.

The move came as a bid to appease a wave of violent protests that is sweeping the country’s capital Ouagadougou against a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow Compaore to seek a third five-year term. The current charter limits the number of terms a president can have to two.

Protesters set fire to the parliament building and the homes of several senior officials in Ouagadougou, according to an Anadolu Agency correspondent. They also stormed the headquarters of the national television before marching on the presidential palace. 

At least 15 deaths were reported in clashes between security forces and protesters.

Before its sacking, the government withdrew the controversial amendment proposal, but the move failed to appease protesters who went on a looting spree across the capital.

For several weeks, the 63-year-old leader’s bid to remain in power after 27 years at the helm has drawn angry reactions from the opposition, civil society and many young people.

More than 60 percent of Burkina Faso’s 17 million-strong population is under 25 years old and has never known a president other than Compaore.

•Photo, courtesy of Anadolu Agaency, shows burning car as part of the riots that paved the way for the coup in Burkina Faso.

Source: News Express

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