U.S. Condemns Burkina Faso Takeover, Calls Return of Transitional Govt

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Former dictator Blaise Compaore-- pulling strings from exile?

The United States has condemned the military takeover in Burkina Faso and called for the restoration of the transitional government guiding the country towards elections October 11.

Presidential Guard soldiers have killed at least 10 civilians protesting the takeover, according to media reports.

The Transitional government was put in place last year when dictator of 27 years Blaise Campoare was overthrown following a popular uprising. Soldiers from the Presidential Guard, loyal to the ousted dictator captured interim President Michel Kafando and Prime Minister Isaac Zida.

Indeed the military announced that the new ruler is Gilbert Diendere a general and former aide to the deposed dictator.

"We call for the immediate release of President Kafando, Prime Minister Zida, and all other officials being held," State Department spokesperson Kirby said in a statement. "The United States strongly condemns any attempt to seize power through extra-constitutional means or resolve internal political disagreements using force. We call for an immediate end to violence, urge the military personnel involved to return to their primary mission, and reaffirm our steadfast support for the civilian transitional government to continue its work of preparing for free, fair, and credible elections on October 11."

Asked during a press briefing whether the U.S. considered the take over as a coup d'etat which triggers legal implications including sanctions, Kirby said, "We’re continuing to evaluate our information about the situation and whatever response might be appropriate as events unfold, which could include and may include foreign assistance implications. We’re not ruling that out. But calling it a coup has legal implications for the United States and it’s not a term that we use lightly. And so again, we’re just continuing to evaluate it."

The African Union also condemned the takeover as did the EU and France.

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