Burkina Faso leader vows power handover after transition
The army also imposed a nighttime curfew from 7pm to 6am local time, according to the statement read out by Colonel Boubacar Ba on Traore’s behalf.
Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore has called for the formation of a transitional government at the end of which he would hand over power to a democratically elected president, moments after the army announced the establishment of a transitional body to run the country’s affairs.
"There are moments in the life of peoples and nations when silence is more expressive than words," the embattled leader, pressured by an unprecedented wave of protests against his rule, said Thursday in a televised speech on private Channel 3.
In his speech, the 63-year-old president declared the lifting of the state of emergency he imposed earlier in the day and reaffirmed his order to withdraw a controversial proposal for a constitutional amendment that would allow him to seek a new term in power.
"I remain open for talks with you for a transitional period, at the end of which I will hand over power to a democratically elected president," Compaore said, addressing the opposition leaders.
The speech came minutes after army chief-of-staff Honore Nabere Traore announced the sacking of government, dissolving of parliament and setting up a transitional body to run the country’s affairs.
The army also imposed a nighttime curfew from 7pm to 6am local time, according to the statement read out by Colonel Boubacar Ba on Traore’s behalf. However, the statement did not clearly state whether the army took control of the country and did not touch on Compaore’s fate.
Compaore had issued an earlier statement, in which he announced only the sacking of the government and declaring the state of emergency.
The move came as a bid to appease a wave of violent protests that is sweeping the country's capital Ouagadougou against a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow Compaore to seek a third five-year term. The current charter limits the number of terms a president can have to two.
Protesters set fire to the parliament building and the homes of several senior officials in Ouagadougou, according to an Anadolu Agency correspondent. They also stormed the headquarters of the national television before marching on the presidential palace.
At least 15 deaths were reported in clashes between security forces and protesters.
Before its sacking, the government withdrew the controversial amendment proposal, but the move failed to appease protesters who went on a looting spree across the capital.
For several weeks, the 63-year-old leader's bid to remain in power after 27 years at the helm has drawn angry reactions from the opposition, civil society and many young people.
More than 60 percent of Burkina Faso's 17 million-strong population is under 25 years old and has never known a president other than Compaore.
Last Modified: 2014-10-31 11:36:21
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