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Burkina Faso: Blaise Compaore defies calls to quit

Burkina Faso: Blaise Compaore defies calls to quit
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Burkina Faso’s president has rejected opposition calls for him to step down after a day of violent protests.

Blaise Compaore said he would stay in power at the head of a transitional government until after elections have been held.

He said he had dissolved parliament and was lifting marshall law that was announced earlier.

An unnamed Army spokesman explained: “The National Assmbley has been dissolved, the government has been dissolved.

“A transitional body will be put in place in consultation with all parties. A return to the constitutional order is expected in no more than 12 months.”

Protests started over plans to vote on a government motion to change the constitution to allow Compaore, who seized power in 1987, to stand for re-election.

At least nineteen people are reported to have been killed and scores more injured in the demonstrations.

Earlier, the US and France, both allies of Burkina Faso in their fight against al Qaeda-linked groups in West Africa,called for an end to the violence.

Meanwhile, Regional West African bloc the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) said that it would not accept any party seizing power through non-constitutional means, suggesting diplomatic pressure to leave the Compoare in place.