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Africa

Power struggle over leadership in Burkina Faso's "Black Spring"

media General Honoré Traoré, left, and Lieutenant Colonel Isaac Zida, right. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Rival factions are claiming power in Burkina Faso after long-term president Blaise Compaoré stepped down on Friday under popular pressure.

The second in command of the presidential guard and the leader of a group of young officers, Isaac Zida, declared himself in charge of Burkina Faso.

In a televised appearance this morning, Zida claimed that in order to ensure a “smooth democratic transition” he had assumed "the responsibilities of head of the transition and of head of state."

This came after army chief and close presidential ally Navere Honore Traore claimed power on Friday; Traore was also responsible for ordering the dissolution of the government one day earlier.

Dismissive of Traore as “obsolete”, Zima has ties to civil society and appeared publicly with lawyer Guy Herve Kam, the leader of the demonstrating Citizen Broom group. Many protestors also oppose Traore.

According to Zida, former president Blaise Compaoré is said to be in a “safe place” after he resigned and fled.

The European Union has called for the people of Burkina Faso to make the final decision in who rules their country.

Emile Pargui Pare an official from the opposition party the Movement of People for Progress, told AFP that "October 30 is Burkina Faso's 'Black Spring', like the Arab Spring".

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