Burkina Faso: Protesters denounce military takeover and demand civilian rule

Now Reading:

Burkina Faso: Protesters denounce military takeover and demand civilian rule

Text size Aa Aa

Two days after mass protests forced the president to resign, the people of Burkina Faso returned to the streets on Sunday, this time to denounce a military “coup” in their country.

Demonstrators demanding civilian rule gathered in the capital Ouagadougou to accuse the army of hijacking their revolution.

Shots were heard at state TV headquarters as security forces moved in to clear an opposition leader and her supporters and assert their authority.

“The army should leave the public stage immediately,” said one protester.

“Its role is to safeguard our national territory.”

“The biggest democracies in the world are governed by civilians, not by soldiers. Westerners want to put the military in place so they can govern us. But the eyes of the people of Burkina Faso have now been opened,” another added.

After a power struggle within the military, presidential guard officer Lieutenant Colonel Isaac Zida won backing from the army and assumed control of a transitional government on Saturday.

But the UN, US and African Union have all condemned the military takeover.

President Blaise Compaoré‘s power base – like his brother’s home in the capital which has been ransacked by looters – now lies in ruins.

The president fled to the Ivory Coast with, its believed, family members, after efforts to prolong his 27 year rule ended in unrest.

Whatever the outcome for Burkina Faso, many see his downfall as a warning to other longtime African presidents mulling moves to stay in power.