Burkina Faso’s military said late Sunday that it will install a transitional government after the country’s president Blaise Compaore resigned on Friday. The announcement comes after thousands of protesters gathered to protest the army's decision to appoint Lt. Col. Isaac Yacouba Zida as a transitional leader of the West African country.
The military said, in a statement that it will help enforce a transitional government “with all the components to be adopted by a broad consensus," adding that it was necessary to disperse the protesters to “restore order,” BBC reported. One person died during demonstrations Sunday after protesters gathered in the country’s capital of Ouagadougou to protest against army rule. The army had reportedly fired shots in the air and used tear gas to disperse the protesters.
The U.S. State Department had asked Burkina Faso’s army to transfer power to the country's civilian authorities while the European Union asked the army to respect the people’s right to protest peacefully, Agence France-Presse, or AFP, reported. The United Nations condemned the military for attempting to usurp power and threatened to impose sanctions against the country if it refused to transfer control.
"The consequences are pretty clear," Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the U.N. envoy for West Africa said, according to AFP, adding: "We want to avoid having to impose sanctions on Burkina Faso."
Opposition leader Saran Sereme and former Defense Minister Kwame Lougue had visited the national news broadcaster separately on Sunday, reportedly to announce that they could handle the transitional government. Opposition leaders also met Zida for talks later Sunday, according to BBC.
Calls for Compaore to step down grew after he attempted to extend his stay in office by trying to amend the constitution. He had also stated that he would only step down if a 12-month transitional government ended in 2015. On Friday, the country's military announced that Compaore would resign from his post immediately, without giving details.
According to Burkina Faso’s constitution, the president of the senate should come to power within 60 days to 90 days of the previous leader’s resignation, following an election.