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Burkina Faso names new prime minister after weeks of unrest

From Ouezen Louis Oulon, For CNN
A bus sits on a street in Burkina Faso with its windows smashed due to the unrest.
A bus sits on a street in Burkina Faso with its windows smashed due to the unrest.
  • The former ambassador to France was named prime minister
  • Students have been protesting for months
  • A group of security guards revolted last week

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (CNN) -- Following weeks of unrest, Burkina Faso's president has named a former ambassador as the country's new prime minister, state media reported.

A statement signed by President Blaise Compaore named Luc Adolph Tiao, Burkina Faso's former ambassador to France, to the post, RTB, the national radio and television network, reported Monday. Before Tiao was an ambassador, he was president of the Superior Council of Communication of Burkina Faso, which regulates the media.

The announcement came after several incidents triggered violence in the western African nation, sparked by different events. There was no information on how many people had been injured.

Student protests have been ongoing in the nation since February, according to local media reports. The demonstrations came after a student reportedly died in jail.

On March 30, protests erupted over a court case. According to media reports, a man sued a group of five soldiers, claiming they allegedly forced him to take off his clothes and walk home because he had dated a soldier's girlfriend. The court found in favor of the man. During the violence that ensued, the defense minister said his home was attacked.

A small group of presidential security guards revolted Thursday night over a promised housing allowance, firing shots inside the presidential compound and taking to the streets, shooting guns, stealing cars and robbing people, according to officials with the Ministry of Defense. Two children of a defense official were shot at and hospitalized, officials said.

The soldiers demanded a housing allowance they said the president had promised them. The Ministry of Defense said Friday in a statement the soldiers had been paid but the protests continued, with buildings in the capital city, Ouagadougou, set on fire. The president also reportedly replaced the head of the Army amid the violence.

The president was at the palace when the demonstrations began and left briefly under heavy security, but he later returned.

In recent days, a curfew was imposed, and sources in the city of Po said violence was also taking place there.

A spokesman for the group of security guards, Moussa Ag Abdoulaye, appeared on RTB and reaffirmed the group's committment to the president and called for a cease-fire from other military groups.