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Burkina Faso's military resolves dispute, backs Zida


Photo Reporting- Burkina Faso's military resolves dispute, backs ZidaBurkina Faso's military resolves dispute, backs Zida

For much of the 24 hours after Burkina Faso's president stepped down, it wasn't clear who was in charge of the country. The military now appears to have resolved a dispute between two officers claiming power.

Senior officers in Burkina Faso's military announced on Saturday that they had agreed to back a lieutenant-colonel to lead a transitional government ahead of fresh elections.

"Lieutenant-Colonel Yacouba Issaac Zida has been elected unanimously to lead the transition period opened after the departure of President Blaise Compaore," read a statement issued after the officers met in the capital, Ouagadougou to resolve a dispute between Zida and General Honore Traore over who should take power.

After Compaore stepped down on Friday, both Zida and Traore had publicly claimed that they would take charge of the government. However, Traore appeared on Saturday to have been persuaded to drop his claim to power, as he was one of the signatories to the statement issued by the military chiefs.

Former president in Ivory Coast

Meanwhile, there were reports on Saturday that Compaore had fled to neighboring Ivory Coast.

The Associated Press on Saturday cited a statement from the office of Ivory Coast's President Alassane Outttara, which said that the country had taken in Compaore, his family and other close associates. The statement provided no further details.

Reuters cited an unnamed military source who said that Compaore was staying at a presidential retreat in the Ivory Coast costal resort of Assinie, to the east of the country's economic capital, Abidjan.

"He's been in Assinie since this morning," the source said. "He is not alone. Some members of his family are with him."

Compoare left Ouagadougou shortly after announcing his resignation on Friday.

This came after days of street protests against the president, after the news emerged that he was seeking to get parliament to amend Burkina Faso's constitution to allow him to run for a fifth term in office.

On Thursday, the protests turned violent with demonstrators storming parliament and setting the building on fire.

Compaore had led Burkina Faso since taking power in a 1987 coup. He has been elected four times since then, but the opposition has disputed the results.

It remained unclear on Saturday how long Lieutenant-Colonel Zida planned to hold power. When he first took his claim on Friday, he said the "length and makeup of the transitional body will be decided later."

pfd/sb (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

Source: Deutsche Welle



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