Updates: An army representative told demonstrators in Ouagadougou on Friday that Compaoré "is no longer in power". Compaoré later announced he was quitting and promised "free and transparent" elections in 90 days.
“It’s not up to us to make or unmake governments,” Fabius told reporters on Friday morning. “What we, the French, want is for our nationals to be protected and that there be appeasement.”
The French ambassador in Ouagadougou, Gilles Thibault, has been instructed to facilitate a peace process and envoys from the UN, the African Union and the west African states organisation, Ecowas, would arrive on Friday.
The roughly 3,500 French citizens in the country were in no danger, Fabius said.
Ouagadougou’s central square was packed with demonstrators on Friday morning, despite the violence of the previous day and the army’s declaration that it had taken over the running of the country to “accompany the democratic transition” that the opposition has called for.
They are talking of an “unfinished revolution”, in the words of one, Moussa, interviewed by RFI’s French-language service.
“We have to take back our revolution, which is being stolen,” opposition activist Gabriel Kombo told RFI earlier.
Opposition MP Blassé Ouédraogo described the situation as “total confusion”.
A demonstration was also reported in the country’s second-biggest city, Bobo Dioulasso.
Many of the demonstrators have called for former chief of staff and defence minister Kouamé Lougué, whom Compaoré fired in 2003, to take over.
Earlier this month French President François Hollande promised that France would back Compaoré’s candidature for a post in an international body if he dropped his plans to hold on to power, the magazine Jeune Afrique revealed on Thursday.
Known in colonial times as Upper Volta, the landlocked country became independent from France in 1960 and its name was changed to Burkina Faso ("the land of upright men") in 1984.