Power struggle in Burkina Faso

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A split has emerged within Burkina Faso’s armed forces over who is leading the country following the resignation of President Blaise Campaore after 27 years in power.

The presidential guard’s second in command, Colonel Isaac Zida, says he has assumed power as head of state, few hours after army chief General Honore Traore said he had taken over.

Crowds danced and cheered in the capital Ouagadougou after Mr Compaore’s resignation was announced.

It came a day after protesters angry at his attempt to amend the constitution set fire to parliament and government buildings.

Col Zida said General Honore Traore’s claim to be head of state was now “obsolete”.

“I now assume… the responsibilities of head of the transition and of head of state to assure the continuation of the state” and a “smooth democratic transition”, said Col Zida in a televised speech quoted by AFP news agency.

Reuters reported that Col Zida, in a statement read out on local radio, had said: “I assume the functions of head of state and I call on (West African regional bloc) Ecowas and the international community to demonstrate their understanding and support the new authorities.”

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