Coup in Burkina Faso

Via the BBC: Army backs new Burkina Faso leader Isaac Zida

Burkina Faso army chiefs have backed a military officer as transitional president.

In a statement, the army said Lieutenant Colonel Isaac Zida was “chosen unanimously to lead the transition period”.

This appears to end confusion over who has succeeded President Blaise Compaore, who stood down amid unrest.

The statement was signed by army chief General Honore Traore, who had earlier declared himself head of state.

The protests that I noted the other day related to Campaore’s attempt to amend the constitution to allow him to stand for an additional term of office led to the military intervening and dissolving the government  President Campaore then resigned (and fled to the Ivory Coast) and the country is now being governed by the military.

The BBC piece notes that if the military was adhering to the constitution that the President of the Senate should have been installed as interim president with new elections to be held in 60-90 days.

More from Reuters:

Troops loyal to Zida patrolled the quiet streets of the capital Ouagadougou on Saturday following his radio announcement that he was taking over as head of state to avoid a descent into anarchy and to ensure a swift democratic transition.

“This is not a coup d’etat but a popular uprising,” Zida said, dressed in military fatigues, in the studio of BF1 television. “I salute the memory of the martyrs of this uprising and bow to the sacrifices made by our people.”

Note:  a clear way to know for sure that a coup is, in fact, a coup is when a fellow dressed in a military uniform with the first name of “General” or (in some ways better) “Colonel” states in some sort of national communication that it was not a coup.



FILED UNDER: Africa, Quick Takes, World Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Surreal American says:

    Shame about President Blaise Compaore being deposed in Burkina Faso after a 27 year reign. He really needed that 28th year to complete his agenda.

  2. @Surreal American: Well, you know, long-term projects and all…