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African Union is facing off with Burkina Faso’s Military

The African Union is in the midst of a standoff with Burkina Faso’s military. The group has given them a two week deadline to give power back or deal with various sanctions.  The AU is claiming that the army acted outside the constitution by taking over after President Blaise Compaore was forced to resign.

The events have set to destabilize the region and are causing a great deal of international concern.   The military is claiming that a transition government is going to be put into place and that they have a right to assume control of the country.   All of these incidents occurred after the president was pushed out due to a large protest by people who wanted him ousted.

On Saturday, the military named Lt Col Isaac Zida, previously second in command of the presidential guard, as the new interim ruler.

‘Supporting role’

A popular revolt led to Mr Compaore’s resignation, but the military takeover was against democracy, said AU official Simeon Oyono Esono, following a meeting of the body’s Peace and Security Council in Ethiopia.

The AU will apply sanctions against Burkina Faso if the military fails to give up power within two weeks, Mr Esonohe told Reuters.

The BBC’s Emmanuel Igunza in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa says the sanctions could include suspension of Burkina Faso’s AU membership and a travel ban on military officials.

The AU’s Peace and Security Council is expected to meet again in two weeks’ time to discuss the crisis, he says.

Col Zida told diplomats and journalists in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, that the military had no plan to usurp power.

It wanted a transitional government made up of civilians to take office, he said.

The military would play a supporting role, Col Zida added.

BBC Afrique analyst Lamine Konkodo says many people in Burkina Faso expect Col Zida to honour his word, and it is now up to politicians and civil society leaders to agree on who will lead a transitional government.

 

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