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Author Topic: Burkina Faso?s president declares state of emergency  (Read 489 times)

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Burkina Faso?s president declares state of emergency
« on: October 31, 2014, 11:27:35 AM »
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Burkina Faso?s President Blaise Compaor? declared a state of emergency and dissolved the government on Thursday, as he pledged to open talks with the opposition in an effort to defuse protests sparked by his attempt to extend his presidency.



Compaor? announced the state of emergency and the government?s dissolution in a statement that was read by a presenter on Radio Omega FM.

?A state of emergency is declared across the national territory. The chief of the armed forces is in charge of implementing this decision which enters into effect today,? the statement said.

?I dissolve the government from today so as to create conditions for change. I?m calling on the leaders of the political opposition to put an end to the protests. I?m pledging from today to open talks with all the actors to end the crisis,? it added.


Earlier in the day, thousands of demonstrators stormed the country?s parliament in the capital Ouagadougou, setting it ablaze ahead a vote on whether to revise the constitution to allow Compaor? stand a third term next year.

The proposal has deeply divided Burkina Faso, one of the world?s poorest nations which has positioned itself as a mediator in regional crises. It has also drawn criticism from former colonial power France and from the United States, allies of the Burkinabe government in operations against al Qaeda-linked groups in West Africa.

Following the fire at the parliament, a government spokesperson said that the vote had been called off. It was unclear, however, if the decision was only temporary.

Compaor? has been in power since 1987, ruling the cotton and gold-producing nation with a firm grip. In recent years, however, he has faced increasing criticism, including from within his own camp and the military.

Diplomatic pressure had mounted over the past year for Compaor? to step down in 2015, amid calls from his own entourage for him to seek re-election, diplomats said.

Domestic opposition to his government hardened dramatically after it confirmed on October 21 that it would seek a constitutional change.

Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Ouagadougou and other towns across the country on Tuesday in what the opposition said was the start of a campaign of civil disobedience over the proposed constitutional reform.


 

 

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