Following clashes between protesters and security forces, military leaders who took over Burkina Faso announced that they will install a transitional government in the West African nation based on “broad consensus.“
Thousands of people demonstrated against the military takeover, which followed earlier mass demonstrations against an attempt by President Blaise Compaore to amend the constitution and extend his 27-year rule. The president left the country after stepping down October 30 and the military assumed command.
Burkina Faso's interim leader Lieutenant Colonel Isaac Zida said that the army would cede power to a transitional government headed by a consensual leader, in a bid to calm accusations that he had seized power in a military coup.
“Our understanding is that the executive powers will be led by a transitional body but within a constitutional framework that we will watch over carefully,” Zida told a gathering of diplomats in the capital Ouagadougou, but he gave no timeframe. The African Union has given Burkina Faso 15 days to put a civilian-led transitional government in place.
The United States is concerned about the unfolding events in Burkina Faso. We regret the violence and the loss of life there and call on all parties to avoid further violence. We reiterate our call for all parties to follow the constitutionally mandated process for the transfer of power and holding of democratic elections. We condemn any attempts by the military or other parties to take advantage of the situation for unconstitutional gain and call on all parties to respect the people’s support for the democratic process.