November 21, 2014 / 11:03 AM / in 4 years

Morocco says Burkina Faso's Compaore to stay for limited period

RABAT (Reuters) - Burkina Faso’s former president Blaise Compaore, who was toppled in a popular uprising last month, will stay in Morocco for a limited period after fleeing his country, the Moroccan government said on Friday.

Former president of Burkina Faso Blaise Compaore speaks at the Felix Houphouet Boigny foundation during a summit for the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between the Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso, in Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast July 30, 2013. REUTERS/Luc Gnago

On Thursday, Compaore left for Morocco from Ivory Coast, where he had stayed since abandoning his country when thousands of protesters took to the streets in October.

“The former president of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaore, arrived Thursday evening in Casablanca with another five people for a specified period,” a statement from the Foreign ministry said without giving other details.

The Moroccan statement said the North African kingdom supported the political transition in Burkina Faso and congratulated its people on “the historical last phase of the country’s history.”

Hundreds of thousands of people protested in Burkina Faso when Compaore, who seized power in a coup in 1987, tried to change the constitution through parliament to extend his 27-year rule in the West African state.

He initially fled to neighboring Ivory Coast, where he was welcomed by President Alassane Ouattara, a close ally, and lodged in a state villa in the capital Yamoussoukro.

However, opposition figures in Ivory Coast accuse Compaore of backing rebels that fought against ex-President Laurent Gbagbo in 2011 after he failed to recognize his defeat to Ouattara in an election.

Ouattara faces elections in 2015, making it politically difficult for Compaore to stay in Ivory Coast indefinitely.

Burkina Faso’s military briefly took power after Compaore stepped down. A civilian interim president, Michel Kafando, was appointed this week to guide the country on the southern fringes of the Sahara desert through to an election next year.

Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi; Additional reporting by Joe Bavier; Editing by Patrick Markey and Hugh Lawson

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