Ministerial choices awaited
Snowstorms kill 14 in US
OUAGADOUGOU: The delayed announcement of Burkina Faso’s interim government ministers was expected yesterday, with the country waiting to see the extent of military influence under civilian president Michel Kafando.
Kafando said on Saturday that planned first meetings of the cabinet and National Transitional Council had been delayed and would take place at a later date.
A source familiar with the military’s position said the delay was caused by the military’s opposition to several ministerial candidates proposed by civil society groups.
Isaac Zida, the colonel who has run Burkina Faso since the ousting of veteran leader Blaise Compaore three weeks ago and who has been named prime minister in the interim government, had promised on Wednesday that the make-up of the new government would be announced within 72 hours.
Zida formally handed power to Kafando, a 72-year-old former foreign minister and career diplomat, in a ceremony attended by six African heads of state on Friday.
However, despite that civilian shift, expectations were that the military would retain a heavy say in affairs when the government was finally announced.
An earlier draft list prepared by the military showed the army wants all the most important posts in government, including defence, internal security and mining. Civilians chosen by the military would also get the foreign, finance, justice and budget posts, according to the document. If this scenario is played out, that would leave Kafando free to name only relatively minor ministers, such as industry and communication. – Sapa-AFP WASHINGTON: Record-breaking snowfall that buried towns near Buffalo, New York State, and killed at least 14 people posed a major flooding threat at the weekend, with temperatures forecast to rise.
Areas of western New York that were hit with more than 2m of snow had been on flood watch, but were now under a flood warning, the National Weather Service said.
A flood warning urges people to prepare for a possibility, while a more serious flood warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.
The warning was in effect in northern Erie, Genessee, Wyoming, Chatauqua, Cattaraugus and southern Erie counties, including the cities of Buffalo, Batavia, Warsaw, Jamestown, Olean, Orchard Park and Springville, the service said.
More than 600 000 live in the areas affected, where thousands in towns south of Buffalo have been trapped in their homes for nearly a week.
Authorities urged people to clear storm drains in front of their homes and to get any valuables out of their basements.
Snowfall equivalent to a year’s supply in two days saw the National Guard called up and could prompt a federal disaster declaration.
Meanwhile, hours of steady rain on Saturday raised hopes that California was moving out of its driest three years in history. –
FLIP IT: Phil Mohun does a back flip off his family home after clearing snow from the roof following a massive snowstorm in Cowlesville, New York. Warm temperatures and rain were forecast, bringing the threat of widespread flooding.