Army announces final ouster of Compaore

Army announces final ouster of Compaore

Friday, October 31, 2014 2:06 pm

Blaise Compaore: end of an era

Blaise Compaore: end of an era

President Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso has finally been ousted from power, the same month 27 years ago that he betrayed his friend Thomas Sankara and killed him to take over the rulership of the country.

His ouster was announced by a military officer this afternoon in Ouagadougou, as thousands of protesters pressed for his exit.

“Compaore is no longer in power,” Colonel Boureima Farta told tens of thousands of protesters who erupted in cheers in front of the army headquarters.

Last night, the country’s military had announced the dissolution of the government and parliament and the establishment of a transition government that will run the country’s affairs for one year.

Compaore, holed in his presidential palace said he was not ready to resign, but was open to talks with the military. He also quickly cancelled the state of emergency that he had announced following days of protests by thousands of Burkinabe people, not only in the capital city, but also the second major city of Bobo Diouslasso, on the border with Ivory Coast.

The protests erupted to demonstrate resentment for the former leader’s plan to amend the constitution to pave way for an extension of his tenure, for another seven years. His second term as an elected president would have ended next year.

The demonstrators earlier forced the government to scrap a vote on the controversial tenure elongation plan after hundreds of people stormed parliament and other public buildings including the national television headquarters, ransacking offices and setting fire to cars, despite a heavy police and army presence across the capital.

The army, in a hastily arranged press conference, announced it was seizing power and pledged to restore constitutional order within 12 months.

The communique, read out by an officer, was signed by the army chief of staff Nabere Honore Traore.

In an immediate reaction, the EU called Friday for the people of Burkina Faso to have the final say in who rules their country, as the army said the west African nation’s embattled president had been ousted.

“The European Union believes that it is up to the people of Burkina Faso to decide their own future. Any solution must be the result of a broad consensus and respect the constitution,” a spokesman for the bloc’s diplomatic service said.

France’s leader Francois Hollande said he hoped Blaise Compaore will take the right decisions.

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