Burkina Faso appoints new transitional leader
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso: Burkina Faso's army appointed a military colonel as transitional leader on Saturday, it said, after the West African country's president resigned from 27 years in office amid violent protests against his continued power.
Lt. Col. Isaac Yacouba Zida was unanimously appointed by the army to lead Burkina Faso, the army said in a declaration. “The period of transition” and its “form and duration will be determined later,” said the declaration that was drafted and signed after senior officers met with the joint chief of staff Saturday.
Blaise Compaore resigned Friday after protesters stormed parliament and set the building ablaze following two days of violent demonstrations against his bid to amend the constitution to stand next year for another term.
His move left the impoverished West African country in a state of uncertainty, and both Joint
Chief of Staff Gen. Honore Traore and Zida had made remarks that they were in power.
Compaore, his family and those close to him had been taken in by Ivory Coast, according to a statement from the office of President Alassane Ouattara. It did not elaborate. It said Ouattara was following events “with particular attention.”
Earlier Saturday, Zida said that the president's resignation amid violent street protests was an “insurrection” and not a coup, and that Compaore and a top aide were both safe.
“Starting today I will assume all the responsibilities of this transition and of head of state,” he said in an announcement carried on radio early Saturday.
Zida was the second in command of the president's security regiment. Having been in Burkina Faso's ranks for more than two decades, Zida is close to the president and appreciated by lower ranking soldier.