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Burkina Faso's army chief seizes power, suspends constitution

Burkina Fasos army chief seizes power, suspends constitution

Ouagadougou: Burkina Faso's chief of the armed forces, Gen. Honore Nabere Traore, who seized power Thursday, has announced the dissolution of the government and parliament.

The announcement Thursday came after daylong violent protests that prevented a vote in parliament on a bill to amend Article 37 of the Burkina Faso Constitution, which limits presidential terms to two, Xinhua reported.

In an earlier official statement, President Blaise Compaore announced the withdrawal of the bill and declared a state of emergency across the entire national territory. He also declared the dissolution of government.

In his statement, Gen. Traore announced the suspension of the constitution of the country.

"At the moment, to prevent the worsening national political situation, Burkina Faso's presidency will be occupied by retired army general, Kwame Lougue, and the prime minister's post will be handled by the opposition leader Zephirin Diabre," Gen. Traore said.

"The two will lead a transition government for a period of 12 months after which free, transparent and democratic elections will be organised," he added.

The army chief appealed for a sense of patriotism and peace not only from the defence and security forces, but also from the presidential guards so that the entire army can work for the well-being of the people of Burkina Faso.

He urged his fellow citizens to remain calm, as this was necessary for a peaceful transition.

There is still confusion in Burkina Faso after the outbreak of violence during Thursday's protests. None of the press statements has been authenticated.

An opposition source said about 30 people were killed while 100 others were injured during the protest. The day was also marked by scenes of looting in different parts of the capital.

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