Burkina Faso President Back In Power After Coup | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Burkina Faso President Back In Power After Coup

Posted: Sep 24, 2015 at 12:50 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Amid cheers and the national anthem, Burkina Faso’s interim president took charge of the country again Wednesday a week after a military general and his supporters overthrew him and his transitional government.

Interim President Michel Kafando and Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida marked their return to power in an official handover ceremony in Ouagadougou. Coup leader Gen. Gilbert Diendere did not attend the event.

The two leaders had been arrested by members of the presidential guard a week ago. In recent days, Burkina Faso’s army sent troops into the capital to press coup leader Diendere and his soldiers to cede power. The military threatened to disarm them by force if necessary.

A regional bloc, the Economic Community of West African States or ECOWAS, also called on the junta to lay down its arms. Heads of state from neighboring countries were among those attending the ceremony to mark the return of Burkina Faso’s transitional government.

“During this ordeal we have fought together and in freedom we triumph together,” Kafando said in a declaration to the nation.

“We are proud of the intrepid Burkinabe people, in particular our youth,” he added.

Kafando’s return caps a tumultuous week in Burkina Faso, where Diendere and his supporters seized power the month before an election. That vote was organized after longtime leader Blaise Compaore was ousted in October in a popular uprising after 27 years in power.

The transitional government led by Kafando was to be in charge until the Oct. 11 vote, but Diendere and other associates of Compaore took issue with the fact that members of the former ruling party were barred from running for office.

As regional mediators stepped up the pressure on Diendere to hand back power, the military negotiated with members of the presidential guard that had supported the coup and reached an agreement with them overnight.

Members of the presidential guard unit agreed to leave their positions in the capital, remain in their barracks and said they would allow an inventory of their weapons.