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FRANCE - BURKINA FASO

Hollande urges Burkina Faso to hand power to civilians

French President François Hollande, Quebec in Canada, 3 November 2014.
French President François Hollande, Quebec in Canada, 3 November 2014. Reuters/Mathieu Belanger

French President François Hollande on Monday night urged the Burkina Faso military to hand power back to civilians to organize elections.

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For elections to be held, "it must be a civilian power that does it" said President Hollande on the sidelines of a visit to Quebec in Canada.

Hollande has called for the appointment of a "consensus" leader to organize elections in the West African country.

His call was quickly confirmed by Burkina Faso's army who promised overnight to hand power to a civilian authority.

The African Nation has also kept the presure and has given two weeks to the regime to return to a civilian rule.

"Power does not interest us" said Lieutenant Colonel Isaac Zida, the new Burkinabe interim head of State.

Zida pledged to instal a unity government with a "broad consensus".

Hollande also said that France has been involved indirectly in former leader Blaise Compaoré's escape.

"I made a statement on Friday asking Blaise Compaoré to make the right decision that is to leave" said Hollande, adding that France ensured that he escaped "without drama" to neighbouring Côte d'Ivoire.

The military took power last week after Compaoré was forced to resign after mass protests in the country over his attempt to change the Constitution in a bid to extend his 27-year-rule.

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