Burkinabe Lt. Col. Isaac Zida (center), named interim leader by Burkina Faso’s army following the ouster of President Blaise Compaore, speaks during a meeting of soldiers and diplomats Nov. 3, 2014, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s capital. 

The self-appointed military government in Burkina Faso has about two weeks to hand over control of the government to a civilian leader or face severe sanctions from the African Union, the BBC is reporting.

The country’s previous leader, President Blaise Compaore, was forced to resign. The military then appointed one of its ranking members as leader of the West African nation.

“A popular revolt led to Mr. Compaore’s resignation, but the military takeover was against democracy, said AU official Simeon Oyono Esono, following a meeting of the body’s Peace and Security Council in Ethiopia,” the BBC explains. The military named Lt. Col. Isaac Zida interim ruler without a nationwide democratic vote.

Military officials worked to assure journalists that they had no plans to stay at the helm of government. “Col. Zida told diplomats and journalists in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, that the military had no plan to usurp power,” the BBC report said.


“It wanted a transitional government made up of civilians to take office,” the BBC explained, noting in its report that Zida indicated that “the military would play a supporting role.”

Read more at the BBC.