OUADADOUGOU (AA) – A senior United Nations official on Sunday appealed to Burkina Faso’s army, which has taken over in the African country since Friday after Blaise Compaore stepped down as president, to hand over power to a civilian-led administration.
Mohamed Ibn Chambas, a special representative of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to Burkina Faso, said the United Nations might be obliged to impose sanctions on Burkina Faso if power was not handed over to civilians.
He said during a press conference in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, that the United Nations had wanted the country to avoid possible sanctions and a suspension of its membership in international organizations in case its new military administration remained in power.
Ibn Chambas said his organization wanted to see a constitutional system being applied in the country and a civilian ruler leading it through its political transition.
He also called for dialogue among Burkina Faso’s political parties with the aim of helping the country’s institutions maintain the delivery of services to citizens.
The United Nations official said Burkina Faso had offered a lot to the international community and in this capacity it deserved support and solidarity at its hard times.
Before his resignation, Compaore, who has been in power for 27 years, used to play a major role in conflict-resolution efforts in the African continent, particularly in Mali, Ivory Coast and Togo.
A large number of Burkinabe troops are part of peacekeeping missions in several volatile areas in Africa.
On Saturday, Yacouba Isaac Zida, the second-in-command in Compaore’s presidential guard, was named the new interim president after the longstanding ruler fled to Ivory Coast following massive demonstrations against his plan to amend the constitution to allow him to seek another five-year term as president.
At least 30 people were reportedly killed in clashes between angry protesters and security forces in capital Ouagadougou on Thursday.
In his first decision after taking over, Zida announced the suspension of the constitution, provoking the ire of the country’s civil society and opposition parties, which call for the installment of a civilian administration to lead the country’s transition.
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