Burkina Faso’s unseemly rush to declare someone as president is a good lesson for civil society groups and opposition parties all over the continent. As authoritarian rulers are suddenly ousted, the interregnums that follow can be very messy. Maybe thinking about this in advance, and committing to a consensus approach in first weeks would be a good thing for opposition parties to agree to? I think activists in Burkina thought there was going to be more time for a transition. The last few days have been messy indeed. But there have been very few civilian-on-civilian deaths- just a handful, it seems. There is no need for a military strongman to appoint himself president. We’ll see if Colonel Zida will relinquish the title he has assumed, in the next few days, and let civilians run the state.
Just a side note: Burkina Faso’s southwest is well-known to anthropologists for having acephalous societies… people without chiefs. Sure there is power, and there are leaders. But all the trappings of chief are not vested in one person.