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Africa

Opposition calls for protests against military rule in Burkina Faso

media Celebration in the streets of Ouagadougou after former president Blaise Compaoré steps down, October 31, 2014. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Ouagadougou is preparing for another day of large-scale demonstrations as opposition leaders challenge moves by the military to take power.

Civil society in Burkina Faso is not going to take a military power grab sitting down.

High-ranking military officer Issac Zida claimed power on Saturday, one day after the resignation of Blaise Compaoré from the presidency.

In response, opposition and civil society leaders have called for a mass rally in Ouagadougou’s newly nicknamed “Revolution Square” in protest of military takeover.

The activists have issued a statement demanding a "democratic and civilian transition".

"The victory born from this popular uprising belongs to the people, and the task of managing the transition falls by right to the people. In no case can it be confiscated by the army," said opposition leaders in a statement.

The United Nations also is calling for a civilian transfer of power.

UN envoy for West Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, stated in a news conference that he hoped to “avoid having to impose sanctions on Burkina Faso".

Civil society is supported by the African Union as well, who on Saturday called for a “civilian-led and consensual transition” in Burkina Faso.

According to French diplomats, former president Blaise Compaoré is now in neighbouring Ivory Coast.

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