Burkina Faso Returns To Civilian Rule

Burkina Faso interim President, Michel Kafando, was detained by the country's military following a coup. Photo: afrika.no
Burkina Faso interim President, Michel Kafando, was detained by the country’s military following a coup. Photo: afrika.no

Interim President Michel Kafando has announced his return to office in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, after coup leader, Gilbert Diendere, was pressured and threatened into vacating office, one week since he and the presidential guard overthrew the civilian interim government.

Kafando told journalist he was free and returning to work, with preparation for next month’s election set to resume.

“Dear compatriots, I am free of my movements and resuming service. The transition is back and is resuming the exercise of power,” he said, as Diendere welcomed several African leaders who were in the country to oversee the transition following a deal that granted the coup leader and his presidential guard complete immunity.

Part of the deal sees loyalists to former dictator, Blaise Compaore, who were initially banned from contesting, allowed to participate in October’s election.

There had been fears that there would be violence in the state capital when the army laid siege in the capital and around the presidential palace and threatened to forcefully disarm the presidential guard if it did not willingly return to the barracks. This prompted Diendere to announce that they would retaliate if attacked.

This came as the Tuesday 10.00 am deadline for the presidential guard to leave the palace passed, with ECOWAS leaders still meeting in Abuja, the Nigeria capital, over the crisis. President Muhammadu Buhari later said a major compromise had been reached.

At least 10 people lost their lives and more than 100 injured in clashes between the presidential guard and protesters, who said they wanted the military to return power to the civilian interim government.



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