African Union threatens sanctions against Burkina Faso, military says it will hand over power

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The African Union (AU) has given the military leadership of Burkina Faso a two-week deadline to relinquish power to a civilian government or face sanctions.

The military of Burkina Faso had seized power after the country’s President Blaise Compaore was forced to step down following protests against his attempt to extend his rule by amending the constitution.

The military said that “a transitional body within the constitutional framework” will be put in place.

“We need to reassure them that we are not there to usurp [the country], to get in the chair and run the power of the state, but we are there to help get the country out of the situation in which it is finding itself now, through the way things have gone,” said the military appointed Lieutenant Colonel Zida, although he did not specify a particular time frame.

“I think that we haven’t yet drawn a conclusion, we are still trying to talk because you know there isn’t just the political opposition that we need to take into account,” he said. “We need to take into account the civil society, everyone. We have also the advice of religious leaders, traditional chiefs, everybody representing the nation, the youth.”

“All these people must tell us how they see things,” he continued. “I think it’s too soon to say what will happen, I don’t know, but we should be patient. We must decide quickly but at the same time make sure we’re not making mistakes that will damage our country.”