SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- Burkina Faso’s military chief has assumed power following the resignation of the West African country’s long-serving president.
“In line with constitutional measures, and given the power vacuum … I will assume as of today my responsibilities as head of state,” read a statement issued by Burkina Faso’s military chief, General Honore Traore, on Friday.
The military chief took over as Burkina Faso’s head of state shortly after the country’s president, Blaise Compaore, who was in office for 27 years, announced his resignation amid widespread protests all over the capital city of Ouagadougou.
“I declare a vacancy of power with a view to allowing a transition that should finish with free and transparent elections in a maximum period of 90 days,” Compaore said in a statement on Friday.
This is while Compaore had earlier rejected a demand by the opposition to step down. He was later forced to give up power following the escalation of anti-government protests.
According to reports, the Burkinabe president has left the capital and is heading toward the southern town of Po, near the country’s border with Ghana, accompanied by a heavily armed convoy.
Burkina Faso plunged into violence earlier this week following the Burkinabe parliament’s decision to vote on a constitutional reform bill which would allow Compaore to serve another term in office as the country’s head of state.
Compaore took power in a coup in 1987 and first served two seven-year terms in 1991-98 and 1998-2005 as president.
After a change in the constitution, Compaore was allowed to serve two five-year mandates. In 2010, he won an election that secured his second and final elected five-year term. Opposition leaders claim the polls were rigged.
The 63-year-old Burkinabe president was a staunch ally of Western powers, including the United States and France.