- Protesters clashed with security forces in Burkina Faso's capital on Sunday
- The protesters want the military government to step aside
- The AU and ECOWAS call for peace and a transition to elections
Protesters demanding that the newly installed military government step aside clashed with security forces in Burkina Faso's capital on Sunday as regional leaders pleaded for calm.
After the resignation of President Blaise Compaore -- who himself faced violent protests over his desire to extend his 27-year rule -- Burkina Faso's military took power.
On Sunday, a huge crowd gathered in Ouagadougou, protesting the military government and demanding the return to constitutional rule.
Gunfire erupted during clashes between the protesters and security forces near the location of the state news television channel, local journalist Ouezen Louis Oulon told CNN.
On Saturday, the military consolidated its support behind Lt. Col. Isaac Yacouba Zida, who will serve as interim President until elections can be held.
On Sunday, as the protests renewed, the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States called for peace and an orderly transition to democracy.
Compaore resigned as President after initially vowing to stay until elections could be held, despite violent protests to his desire to extend his lengthy rule.
His decision to step down "opens the necessary political space for all the stakeholders to work together to find a lasting resolution to the crisis facing the country," the head of the African Union, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said in a statement.
The African Union's Peace and Security Council will hold a meeting on Monday to discuss the crisis in Burkina Faso.
Dlamini-Zuma said she prefers an agreement that will lead to a civilian-led transition toward elections for a new government.
She called on Burkina Faso's military to place themselves at the disposal of civilian authorities.
ECOWAS Chairman John Dramani Mahama offered a more general assessment, calling for all parties to "work in the overall interest of the people of Burkina Faso in order to guarantee peace and stability in the region."
Demonstrators last week stormed Parliament, setting fire to the building. The protests came amid rising discontent about the high cost of living and Compaore's attempts to amend the country's constitution to help him extend his term.
Compaore had been in office since he took power after a bloody coup in 1987.
The country was formerly known as the Republic of Upper Volta when it was established in 1958 as a self-governing colony under France.