Burkina Faso president resigns, calls for 90-day transition

Compaore called for a 90-day transition to “free and transparent” elections in the country.

Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore. Picture: EPA.

OUAGADOUGOU - Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore announced his resignation in a statement on Friday and called for a 90-day transition to "free and transparent" elections in the West African country, local radio and television said.

"I declare a vacancy of power with a view to allowing a transition that should finish with free and transparent elections in a maximum period of 90 days," said the statement, read on local radio and television by presenters.

Lieutenant-Colonel Issaac Zida of the presidential guard had earlier announced Compaore's departure in the central Place de la Nation in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou to cheering from tens of thousands of protesters.

Huge crowds had gathered to demand the president's resignation after a day of violent protests on Thursday.

A heavily armed convoy believed to be carrying Compaore was seen travelling on Friday towards the southern town of Po, near the border with Ghana, two diplomatic sources and local media said.