The president of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaore, has stepped down, a day after protesters stormed parliament and set the building ablaze, ending the 27-year reign of one of Africa’s longest-serving rulers.
Army chief Honore Traore quickly announced on Friday that he was in charge, but it was unclear whether the military was unified behind him. The opposition has called for civilian rule, and the country’s constitution states that elections must be held within 90 days.
Al Jazeera looks at what Compaore’s departure means for the country.
Mark Schroeder, Africa analyst at intelligence firm Stratfor
“We’ve seen the departure of Compaore but his replacement is really the system that has underwritten Burkina Faso since he came to power – that is the military that has been the guarantor of public order, and that clearly remains the case today.
“There will be different personalities in the government, in the short-run led by the army chief of staff. It will include members of the opposition – which must be remembered are members of Compaore’s party. They had disputes with the former president but didn’t really have disputes with his policies.
“Whatever national government is formed, or whoever is elected president, we’re really not going to see a shift in policy. Likely, the first move a new government will make, will be to reassure continuity to its domestic audience and to the international community.”
Mohammed Adow, Al Jazeera Africa correspondent
“What the protesters out there in Ouagadougou right now want to let the world know is that it’s not yet over. They’re not happy with General Traore placing himself in a position of leadership and saying that he’s going to be the head of state.
“Instead they’re chanting the name of the fomer defence minister, General Kouame Lougue, who fell out with Blaise Compaore in 2003. They’re saying they want him.
“Whether it’s a coup or not is what many people are debating. It seems to be a divide even in the military with Lieutenant Sida, who’s the spokesman of the army, coming out saying that it’s not Traore who’s going to lead the transition of Burkina Faso but him. We’re hearing different people within the military saying different things.”