Leaders in Burkina Faso agree to civilian-rule transition but military still in charge

World Today

Rival factions in Burkina Faso agreed Wednesday that a caretaker government will take charge of the country for one year, but there’s no deal yet on who should lead it. For now, the military remains in control. The country has faced turmoil since longtime President Blaise Compaore was ousted last week. CCTV America’s Kofa Mrenje reported this story from the Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Leaders in Burkina Faso agree to civilian-rule transition but military still in charge

Rival factions in Burkina Faso agreed Wednesday that a caretaker government will take charge of the country for one year, but there's no deal yet on who should lead it. For now, the military remains in control. The country has faced turmoil since longtime President Blaise Compaore was ousted last week. CCTV America's Kofa Mrenje reported this story from the Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Burkina Faso’s army, politicians, and civil society leaders agreed to a year of political transition with elections set for November 2015.

Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama, mediated the talks alongside Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, and Senegal President Macky Sall. The three presidents pushed for a quick return to civilian rule after the military appointed Lt. Col. Isaac Zida, to run the country following last week’s ouster of Compaore after thousands protested his attempt to extend a 27-year rule.

The talks did not start well, when opposition leaders stormed out in protest over the possible involvement of Compaore loyalists in any provisional government.

“We haven’t even buried our dead yet and they are putting arrogant people back in office who held the people in contempt,” said Luc Marius Ibriga, spokesman for the civil society groups, as their representatives left the room.

Security guards had to intervene as emotions ran high.

“We do not want to talk with the old governing party. They represent Blaise Compaore,” said Rose-Marie Compaore, parliamentary leader of the main opposition group, the Union for Progress and Change.

Both groups were persuaded to return to the negotiations, only for members of the ruling party to then refuse to sit with them.

“As much as we feel hurt, we cannot achieve a unilateral outcome if it does not embrace all members of the Burkina society. And so please, as chair of ECOWAS I enjoin you that you drop all your personal opinion and hate and embrace each other as brothers and sisters so that whatever decision we take in respect of Burkina Faso’s transition, and the elections that will restore a respectable president and substantial assembly, will be done on a substantive basis, without excluding anybody,” said Ghana’s Mahama.

The groups agreed to reinstate the constitution and that an “eminent personality” will head the transitional government. However one key issue, when the military will give up rule, remained unresolved. The African Union has given the military two weeks to hand over power or face sanctions.

Story compiled with information from CCTV America and AFP.