Burkina Faso soldiers detain interim leaders
Soldiers have detained Burkina Faso's transitional president, prime minister and several cabinet members, raising fears of a coup.
The raid comes weeks before the country is due to hold elections to replace its longtime leader who was ousted in a popular uprising late last year.
Members of the military showed up at the presidential offices on Wednesday afternoon and barred the transitional leaders from leaving, Achille Tapsoba, who works at the presidency, told the Associated Press news agency.
Interim president Michel Kafando and Lieutenant Colonel Yacouba Isaac Zida, the interim prime minister, were tasked with organising the presidential elections in October, which many hoped would strengthen the country's democracy.
Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa, reporting from Kinshasa, said members of the international community were already calling on the soldiers to release the cabinet members.
"They're saying, whatever your issue is, release these people and then we can talk about it," our correspondent said.
Tensions over vote
There have been tensions over the vote because members of the ex-president's party have been declared ineligible. Anyone who supported the ex-president's bid to amend the constitution so he could seek another term is also banned from running.
Another source of tension has been an ongoing dispute between the transitional officials and the country's elite Presidential Security Regiment. The 1,300-strong group has called for the resignation of the interim prime minister, who is a former second-in-command of the unit. He had threatened to disband the group back in December but later reversed course.
Burkina Faso's military initially had picked Zida to lead the country when it swooped in and took control in the power vacuum after President Blaise Compaore's resignation.
The international community urged the military to swiftly hand back power or face crippling economic sanctions. Kafando, a former ambassador to the UN, was then chosen as transitional president, and he chose Zida to serve as prime minister.