Burkina Faso coup leader quits, president regains power


Zida and Kafando

Burkina Faso’s interim President Michel Kafando, who was taken hostage during a coup a week ago, said on Wednesday he was back in power and had restored a civilian transitional government.

“I have returned to work,” he said in a brief speech to journalists at the foreign ministry in the capital.

“The transition is back and at this very minute is exercising the power of the state,” he is quoted by Reuters as saying.

His announcement came as coup leader Gen Gilbert Diendere went to welcome several African leaders arriving to oversee the transfer of power.

His presidential guard agreed to a deal overnight with the regular army to avoid violence.

They pledged to return to barracks and the army to withdraw from the capital.

The presidential guard is loyal to Blaise Compaore, the country’s long-time ruler who was ousted in a popular uprising last year.

The elite troops installed Gen Diendere as the leader last week – a month before elections had been due in the landlocked country.

They detained President Kafando during a cabinet meeting last Wednesday.

“Dear compatriots, I am free of my movements and resuming service. The transition is back and is resuming the exercise of power,” Mr Kafando told journalists.

Regular army troops entered the capital, Ouagadougou, on Monday vowing to retake it.

At least 10 people have been killed and more than 100 injured in clashes between the presidential guard and protesters.

Reuters, BBC

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