Burkina army leader promises 'consensus' leader

The head of Burkina Faso's military regime promised to deliver a "consensus" leader on Monday in talks on installing a unity government in the west African nation following a violent crackdown on protesters.

AFP| Last Updated: Nov 03, 2014, 21:09 PM IST

Ouagadougou: The head of Burkina Faso's military regime promised to deliver a "consensus" leader on Monday in talks on installing a unity government in the west African nation following a violent crackdown on protesters.

The army has stepped into the power vacuum left by Blaise Compaore, who was forced to resign the presidency last week in the wake of violent demonstrations likened to the Arab Spring over his 27-year-rule.

Naming Isaac Zida as interim chief, the military has said it is acting in the interests of the nation and that "power does not interest us", but its takeover has sparked angry protests.

Zida was locked in negotiations from 10:00 am local time with diplomats at the foreign ministry, while senior opposition figures were due to meet later with their leader, Zephirin Diabre.

"Executive government shall be conducted by a transitional body within a constitutional framework... This transitional body will be headed by a person appointed by the consensus of all actors in public life," he said.

He gave no timetable for the transition but said he wanted a new regime in place within the "shortest possible" period.

Threatened with economic sanctions, the military has pledged to put in place a transition government formed by "broad consensus".

The talks build on meetings late Sunday between Zida and the ambassadors of France, the United States and the European Union, although it was not clear if any progress had been made.

The crisis will also be the subject of a meeting of the African Union's Peace and Security Council later on Monday in Addis Ababa.

Traffic flowed normally in the streets of the capital Ouagadougou after the latest protests on Sunday, with the largest market ending a six-day shutdown and banks open, according to an AFP journalist.

Troops launched a crackdown as several thousand protesters gathered at a rally in the city's central square against the military takeover.