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Burkina Faso coup: Compaore ally Diendere named new leader

Gen Gilbert Diendere was chief of staff to former President Blaise Compaore


Presidential guard officers in Burkina Faso have seized power in a coup, with shooting reported in the capital, Ouagadougou.

A close ally of former President Blaise Compaore, Gen Gilbert Diendere has been named the country’s new leader, state television reports.

French President Francois Hollande condemned what he called a coup in the former French colony.

Presidential forces opened fire to disperse protesters in the capital, and some were arrested, reports say.

The coup leaders have imposed a night-time curfew across the West African state, and have ordered the closure of land and air borders, AFP news agency reports.

The headquarters of Mr Compaore’s Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP) party were ransacked in Ouagadougou as news of the coup spread, it adds.

Mr Hollande called for the immediate release of interim President Michel Kafando and Prime Minister Isaac Zida, who were detained at a cabinet meeting in the president palace on Wednesday.

Their transitional government were due to hand power to a new government after elections on 11 October.

‘Resist coup’

Mr Compaore was ousted in a popular uprising last year after 27 years in power, and is currently in exile.

Some of his key allies had been barred from contesting the election.

A statement issued by the coup leaders said the West African state would be led by Gen Gilbert Diendere, Mr Compaore’s former chief-of-staff.

An earlier announcement on state television said wide-ranging talks would be held to form a new interim government that would organise “peaceful and inclusive elections”.

Transitional parliamentary speaker Cheriff Sy said the move was “clearly a coup”.

He said the presidential guard had “sequestrated” the interim government, and he urged people to protest on the streets.

“We are in a resistance situation against adversity,” My Sy added.

Earlier, there was heavy shooting by presidential forces at the capital’s Revolution Square, where protesters had gathered to demand the release of the interim leaders.

Source: BBC

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