New Burkina Faso PM vows 'open' govt

2011-04-21 09:22
Ouagadougou - New Burkina Faso Prime Minister Luc Adolphe Tiao promised on Wednesday his government would be "open-minded" and work to appease mutineers in the armed forces and the population at large.

"We will form an open-minded government and we will work with competent people," Tiao said in an interview with state RTB radio and television.

President Blaise Compaore appointed Tiao, a journalist without prior government experience, on Monday to put an end to weeks of violent protests.

Tiao said competence, altruism and the national and common interest would be at the centre of his government.

Compaore, who took power in a coup in 1987, has been confronted by a series of unprecedented demonstrations over the past two months, including a chaotic army mutiny and student riots against police that left several dead.

But observers warn that steps already taken by the 60-year-old leader may not be sufficient to quell the discontent, after he ordered the payment of bonuses to soldiers, dissolved the government and fired military chiefs.

Among the urgent steps to be taken would be an increase in civil service salaries, a stabilisation of the costs of basic commodities and the restoration of discipline in the army.

"I agree with all people in Burkina Faso that something is wrong in our society," said Tiao.

"I feel the same things felt by people in the streets, business people, the military," he said.

The crisis in Burkina Faso is being closely monitored by the African Union, the body's top official told reporters in Washington earlier on Wednesday.

"For the moment, it seems that the situation is not yet out of control, so we are watching and monitoring the situation there closely with the Burkina Faso authorities," said Jean Ping, president of the commission of the African Union, who was in Washington for talks with US officials.

Read more on:    au  |  blaise compaore  |  jean ping  |  burkina faso  |  west africa
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