Ouagadougou (AFP) April 21, 2011
Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore, faced with a soldiers' mutiny and violent student protests, late Thursday named himself as the country's new defence minister, decrees read on public television said.
"The president (of Burkina Faso), commander in chief of the army, has assumed the function of defence and veterans minister," one of the decrees said.
Compaore, a former soldier who came to power in a military coup in 1987, takes over the sensitive defence post after a series of unprecedented demonstrations in the past two months, including a revolt by soldiers over pay and benefits and student riots against police that left several dead.
Last week, he ordered the payment of bonuses to soldiers, dissolved the government and replaced his army chief in a bid to reassert his authority and quell the dissent.
The new head of the armed forces general staff, General Honore Nabere Traore, said after meeting with his military chiefs in Ouagadougou on Thursday that "the crises are heading toward a solution."
"We have found adequate responses" to the mutineers' demands, he said on public radio, adding the mutineers will meet the president late this week.
Compaore also named a new prime minister, Luc Adolphe Tiao, a journalist without prior government experience, on Monday to help put an end to the unrest.
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