Manila Bulletin

Burk­ina Faso mil­i­tary coun­cil ‘dis­solves’ po­lit­i­cal in­sti­tu­tions

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OUA­GADOUGOU (AFP) – Mem­bers of Burk­ina Faso’s pres­i­den­tial guard – who have seized the pres­i­dent and gov­ern­ment lead­ers – an­nounced Thurs­day they had “dis­solved’’ the coun­try’s po­lit­i­cal in­sti­tu­tions and vowed to or­ga­nize “in­clu­sive elec­tions.’’

Lieu­tenant-Colonel Ma­madou Bamba ap­peared on na­tional tele­vi­sion to de­clare a new “Na­tional Demo­cratic Coun­cil’’ had put an end “to the de­viant regime of tran­si­tion’’ in the west African state and Burk­ina’s in­terim pres­i­dent had been stripped of his pow­ers.

“The Na­tional Tran­si­tion Coun­cil has been... dis­solved... Wide-rang­ing talks are be­ing held to form a gov­ern­ment... to lead to in­clu­sive and peace­ful elec­tions,’’ he added.

In­terim par­lia­ment speaker Cher­iff Sy told the French ra­dio sta­tion RFI that what was hap­pen­ing was “clearly a coup’’ and called on the peo­ple to “im­me­di­ately rise up’’ in re­sponse.

On Wed­nes­day, mem­bers of the pres­i­den­tial guard who are loyal to ousted ex-leader Blaise Com­paore burst into a cab­i­net meet­ing and seized Pres­i­dent Michel Kafando, Prime Min­is­ter Isaac Zida and two min­is­ters.

UN Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Ban Ki-moon and the Euro­pean Union (EU) have con­demned the lead­ers’ de­ten­tion and called for their im­me­di­ate re­lease.

Com­paore was top­pled in Oc­to­ber 2014 and fled into ex­ile in Ivory Coast af­ter an upris­ing trig­gered by his at­tempt to ex­tend his 27-year rule.

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