World

2nd Burkina Faso soldier declares he is head of state after protest push president from power

  • People gather near a government building as they await the announcement of a new interim leader in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Friday, Oct. 31, 2014. An army general stepped into the vacuum left in Burkina Faso on Friday by the resignation President Blaise Compaore, who ended his 27-year reign under pressure from violent protests. (AP Photo/Theo Renaut)

    People gather near a government building as they await the announcement of a new interim leader in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Friday, Oct. 31, 2014. An army general stepped into the vacuum left in Burkina Faso on Friday by the resignation President Blaise Compaore, who ended his 27-year reign under pressure from violent protests. (AP Photo/Theo Renaut)  (The Associated Press)

  • People gather near a government building as they await the announcement of a new interim leader in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Friday, Oct. 31, 2014. An army general stepped into the vacuum left in Burkina Faso on Friday by the resignation President Blaise Compaore, who ended his 27-year reign under pressure from violent protests. (AP Photo/Theo Renaut)

    People gather near a government building as they await the announcement of a new interim leader in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Friday, Oct. 31, 2014. An army general stepped into the vacuum left in Burkina Faso on Friday by the resignation President Blaise Compaore, who ended his 27-year reign under pressure from violent protests. (AP Photo/Theo Renaut)  (The Associated Press)

  • Burkina Faso Lt. Col. Issac Yacouba Zida pauses as he makes an announcement to the media in the city of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014. Burkina Faso's former president fled to neighboring Ivory Coast with his family after violent protests drove him from power after 27 years in office, Ivory Coast said Saturday, as Zida, a largely unknown military colonel, said he had taken the helm. (AP Photo/Theo Renaut)

    Burkina Faso Lt. Col. Issac Yacouba Zida pauses as he makes an announcement to the media in the city of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014. Burkina Faso's former president fled to neighboring Ivory Coast with his family after violent protests drove him from power after 27 years in office, Ivory Coast said Saturday, as Zida, a largely unknown military colonel, said he had taken the helm. (AP Photo/Theo Renaut)  (The Associated Press)

A largely unknown military colonel has emerged to say he has taken the helm of Burkina Faso, hours after an army general had made a similar declaration following the ouster of the country's president of 27 years.

Lt. Col. Issac Yacouba Zida said early Saturday that the president's resignation amid violent street protests was an "insurrection" and not a coup, and that former President Blaise Compaore and a top aide were both safe.

He then announced: "Starting today I will assume all the responsibilities of this transition and of head of state."

Zida called on the international community including the African Union to "support our people during this difficult ordeal."

Compaore had first seized power after a 1987 coup and later refashioned himself as a regional peace broker.