The military in the West African nation of Burkina Faso seized control of the government on October 30 and set a dusk-to-dawn curfew in what one general described as an effort to protect lives and restore order.

Unrest has gripped Burkina Faso – a key ally for the West in the fight against al Qaeda – as protests against President Blaise Compaore’s government turned violent, culminating with demonstrators storming the Parliament and setting fire to the building.

Burkina Faso’s President Blaise Compaore says he will stay in power for a year under a transitional government, following a day of violent protests demanding his resignation. Earlier, demonstrators angered by his bid to extend his 27-year rule torched parliament and government buildings.

Compaore said he would hand over power once the transitional government had completed its 12-month term. In the previous announcement, Compaore called for the military to implement emergency measures.

The whereabouts of Compaore were not immediately known, and it was not immediately clear whether he had surrendered control of the country.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon’s special envoy for West Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, will fly to Burkina Faso on October 31 to try to ease the crisis, the UN said.

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