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Army chief seizes power in Burkina Faso after president resigns

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Army chief seizes power in Burkina Faso after president resigns


Protesters calling for the resignation of Burkina Faso’s president got their way on Friday as Blaise Compaore stepped down after 27 years in power.

In a statement broadcast on national television, he called for elections within 90 days before leaving the capital Ouagadougou for the south.

Months of tension erupted into violence on Thursday after Compaore attempted to prolong his hold on one of West Africa’s poorest nations.

Bowing to pressure, he had earlier agreed to step down next year before confirming that he had “fulfilled” his duty.

Army Chief Honore Traore seized power shortly afterwards vowing to “save the life of the nation”.

He said: “In line with constitutional measures, and given the power vacuum, I will assume my responsibilities as head of state as of today.”

But some opponents think that Traore is too close to the former president and fear that nothing will change.

Former colonial power France welcomed the change of leader and called for speedy democratic elections.

A day before the resignation, a state of emergency had been declared after parliament was destroyed and several other government buildings were torched.

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