Interim government meets in Burkina Faso

AFP , Monday 24 Nov 2014

Burkina Faso
File Photo of Protests in Burkina Faso in October (Photo:Reuters

Burkina Faso's interim government met for the first time Monday, with the military retaining key jobs some three weeks after it seized power amid a popular uprising.

The 26 ministers gathered for an hour in the presidential palace, an AFP journalist observed. Details of what they discussed were not made public.

The ministers were named late Sunday following several days of intense negotiations over the composition of the government, which is to return the landlocked country of nearly 17 million to civilian rule.

Burkina Faso's military seized power on October 31 after then-president Blaise Compaore was ousted in a popular revolt sparked by his bid to extend his 27-year hold on power.

Military strongman Lieutenant Colonel Isaac Zida will serve as prime minister in the interim administration and also take the defence minister post, officials said.

The military will likewise have control of the interior ministry, announced Alain Thierry Ouattara, the new government secretary general.

In all, four military members are included in the 26-member cabinet. Interim civilian president Michel Kafando will double up as foreign minister.

Under intense international pressure, and the threat of sanctions if the military retained the post of head of state, an agreement was thrashed out to work towards elections in November 2015.

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