Tens of thousands of people marched through Burkina Faso’s capital on Tuesday calling for President Blaise Compaore to scrap plans to extend his 27-year rule.
Whats started peacefully later erupted into clashes with police.
Tuesday marked the start of a civil disobedience campaign by opposition parties after the government began moves to change the constitution to let Compaore seek re-election rather than step down.
Angry protesters urged the president to stop pressuresing the National Assembly as the people didn’t want him anymore.
Compaore took control in a coup in 1987 and has won four elections since then.
Former colonial power France which uses Burkina Faso as a base for its Special forces is urging him to abide by an African Union charter. Article 37 stipulates that leaders should not change the law to try and stay in power.
French troops based in the capital Ouagadougou are a key part of French counter-terrorism operations across West Africa.
Compaore has positioned himself as a key mediator in regional conflicts and is also an important ally of the United States.
But plans to hold a referendum on changing the constitution have split the nation including a usually loyal army.