Burkina Faso transition talks off to rocky start

US Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Bisa Williams talks with Burkina Faso's Lieutenant-Colonel Isaac Zida after a meeting in Ouagadougou, on November 8, 2014Talks on forming a transition government in Burkina Faso began Saturday with the army at first declining to join, while ousted leader Blaise Compaore accused his opponents of jointly plotting his overthrow. Around 60 representatives of political parties and civil society met in the capital Ouagadougou to hammer out a handover plan, after Compaore fled following a mass uprising against his bid to revise the constitution and extend his 27-year rule. The army, who named Lieutenant Colonel Isaac Zida to head the west African country, had first refused to take part in the talks but later sent a delegation led by Zida’s right-hand man, Colonel August Denise Barry, who made only a brief appearance at the discussions. The army’s power grab in the landlocked west African country has attracted international condemnation and threats of sanctions from the African Union unless it hands over power within two weeks.

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