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General News of Thursday, 30 October 2014

Source: BBC

Burkina Faso president declares state of emergency


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Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore has imposed a state of emergency to end violent protests against his 27-year rule.

The government has also been dissolved, a statement signed by Mr Compaore said. Mass protests against his rule are continuing in the capital, Ouagadougou. Burkina Faso is a West African nation, bordered by Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana and Togo.

Angry crowds had earlier set fire to parliament and other government buildings, forcing MPs to abandon a vote aimed at allowing Mr Compaore to seek re-election in 2015.

Protesters have converged on the main square in Ouagadougou, demanding Mr Compaore's immediate resignation.

One person has been killed in the protests, and not five as earlier reported, says BBC Afrique's Yacouba Ouedraogo in the capital.

The military fired live bullets as protesters stormed parliament, our correspondent says.

Witnesses say dozens of soldiers have joined the protests, including a former defence minister, Gen Kouame Lougue.

Protesters are demanding his installation as president, our reporter says. This is one of the most serious protests against Mr Compaore's rule.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon's special envoy for West Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, will fly to Burkina Faso on Friday in an attempt to ease the crisis, the UN said in a statement. The main opposition leader, Zephirin Diabre, called on the military to side with "the people" and demanded the president's resignation. Mr Compaore first took power in a coup in 1987, and has won four disputed elections since then.

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