Military leader becomes Burkina Faso PM

Zida’s appointment comes shortly after US and other powers praised progress towards civilian transitional government.

Zida's appointment comes less than a week after he restored the country's constitution [AP]

The military colonel who briefly seized control of Burkina Faso after the longtime president stepped down, has been chosen to serve as interim prime minister, four days after he restored the country’s constitution.

The selection of Lieutenant-Colonel Isaac Yacouba Zida on Wednesday came just a day after the US and others praised Burkina Faso for pressing ahead with a civilian transitional government.

Zida’s appointment was read out by decree at the presidential palace by Alain Ouattara, the assistant secretary-general of the government.

The military initially had picked Zida to lead Burkina Faso after it took control in the power vacuum after longtime President Blaise Compaore resigned on October 31, ending a 27-year-rule.

Compaore’s resignation was forced by angry demonstrators who set the parliament on fire to show their displeasure over his attempts to seek another term in office.

The international community urged the military to swiftly hand back power or face stiff economic sanctions.

It was not immediately clear whether the African Union would accept an army colonel playing such a pivotal role in
the transition, AP news agency reported.

The selection of Zida also comes a day after longtime diplomat Michel Kafando was sworn in as president of the transitional government to lead the country to elections in a year’s time.

Zida, 49, is from the same Mossi ethnic group as Kafando.

The US had encouraged Kafando “to select individuals to serve in the transitional government who are firmly committed to a democratic, civilian government”.

Source: News Agencies