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Colonel Named Transitional PM in Burkina Faso

FILE - Lieutenant Colonel Isaac Zida meets with opposition leaders in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, Nov. 2, 2014.

The army officer who briefly seized power in Burkina Faso has been named prime minister of the country's transitional government.

The appointment of Lieutenant Colonel Isaac Zida was announced Wednesday, a day after new interim President Michel Kafando was sworn in.

There was no immediate reaction from the African Union, which had threatened sanctions against Burkina Faso unless Mr. Zida returned power to a civilian-led government.

A spokesman for the State Department Jeff Rathke said U.S. officials are keeping the Burkina Faso transition "under scrutiny."

The army named Mr. Zida head of state on November 1st after longtime president Blaise Compaore stepped down in the face of violent protests.

A committee of army, civilian and religious leaders chose Mr. Kafando as interim president late Sunday. He and the prime minister are tasked with naming a 25-person transitional government that will lead Burkina Faso to elections in a year.

Members of the transitional government are barred from running in next year's elections.

Before the unrest, president Compaore ruled Burkina Faso for 27 years. The unrest erupted in response to efforts to extend his rule.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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