Burkina Faso: Campaore Resigns, Army Chief, Traore, Now Head of State

Burkina Faso’s Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Nabere Traore, on Friday announced that he has assumed responsibility as the country’s Head of State following the resignation of the country’s former leader, Blaise Campaore.
Traore, who made announcement in a statement made available to newsmen on Friday, said the decision followed Blaise Compaore’s resignation and subsequent exit from the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the army in Burkina Faso on Thursday announced seizure of power and dissolution of the Compaore-led government.
It would also be recalled that the army’s decision followed days of protest arising from planned amendment of Article 37 of the country’s constitution.
The protesters feared that the planned amendment of the constitution was to pave the way for Compaore to stay in office beyond 2015.
NAN recalls that Burkina Faso’s local media reported that Compaore had left the country after a government statement announced his acceptance of the power seizure.
Meanwhile, Nabere has said that the army’s decision was to save the country from collapse following the public protest that trailed government’s planned amendment.
“Recognising the power vacuum thus created, considering the urgent need to save the life of the nation, I will from today assume responsibility as Head of State.
“In accordance with the constitution, there is need to proceed without delay to consult with stakeholders toward returning the nation to constitutional democracy,’’ the statement read in parts.
The statement further quoted Nabere as calling on the citizenry to be law abiding and committed to the course of returning the country to democratic rule.
“The military will take necessary steps to ensure the safety of people and goods throughout the territory,” he said.
NAN recalls that Compaore, who has already spent 27 years in office, was billed to vacate in 2015 after a presidential election.
Compaore came into power in a 1987 coup that killed the then president, Thomas Sankara.
Compaore had on Friday in Ouagadougou ceded power after tens of thousands of protesters flooded central Ouagadougou to press him to resign.
“I am sure to have fully executed my duties and will now step down in the supreme interest of the country,’’ he said.
Compaore called for an election within 90 days.
The president said he was stepping down to prevent a division within the army and to maintain democratic gains.
An army spokesman also announced the president’s resignation, receiving cheers from protesters he was talking to on the central Place de la Revolution square.
Unconfirmed radio reports said Compaore was travelling by car toward the south of the country.
French President Francois Hollande earlier said he was sure that “President Compaore will take the right decisions in the coming hours.’’
Protest rallies were reported to be taking place also in other parts of the West African country.
The 63-year-old took power in a 1987 coup. He was re-elected four times since 1991 in elections, the transparency of which was questioned.
Constitutional limits introduced in 2005 prevent Compaore from running for president in 2015
 

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