US official meets army-named leader in Burkina Faso

US Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Bisa Williams talks on Nov 8, 2014, met with the army-named leader of Burkina Faso, Lieutenant-Colonel Isaac Zida, after a meeting in Ouagadougou. A senior US official met Saturday with the army-
US Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Bisa Williams talks on Nov 8, 2014, met with the army-named leader of Burkina Faso, Lieutenant-Colonel Isaac Zida, after a meeting in Ouagadougou. A senior US official met Saturday with the army-named leader of Burkina Faso, a week after the military took control of the west African country following the ouster of veteran president Blaise Compaore. -- PHOTO: AFP

OUAGADOUGOU (AFP) - A senior US official met Saturday with the army-named leader of Burkina Faso, a week after the military took control of the west African country following the ouster of veteran president Blaise Compaore.

Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Bisa Williams met with Lieutenant-Colonel Isaac Zida, protocol officer Gilles Seraphin Bayala told AFP, giving no further details about the visit.

The meeting came as political parties, the army and civil society groups were due to discuss a plan for a transitional government in the west African country.

Zida took over after Compaore fled following a mass uprising against his plans to revise the constitution and extend his 27-year rule.

The army's power grab has attracted international condemnation and threats of sanctions from the African Union unless it hands over power within two weeks.

The United States, an ally and key donor, has pressured the army to rapidly hand over power to civilians.

Known in colonial times as Upper Volta, the landlocked country became independent from France in 1960 and its name was changed to Burkina Faso ("the land of upright men") in 1984.