AFRICANGLOBE – An agreement has been reached to end a tense standoff in Burkina Faso and return the transitional president to power after last week’s coup. Deposed President Michel Kafando has said the “transition is back.”
Interim President Michel Kafando on Wednesday declared the restoration of a transitional civilian government after being taken hostage during a coup last week.
“I have returned to work. The transition is back and at this very minute is exercising the power of the state,” Kafando said during a press conference at the Foreign Ministry in the capital Ouagadougou.
Soldiers loyal to ousted leader Blaise Compaore detained the interim president along with senior ministers, including President Michel Kafando and Prime Minister Yacouba Issac Zida.
Compaore’s Presidential Security Regiment (RSP) did not give any explanation for the move, which was confirmed by the head of parliament last Wednesday.
The Economic Community of West African States, the regional economic block known as ECOWAS, demanded the junta lay down their arms and for Burkina Faso’s military not to attack coup supporters when transitional leader Michel Kafando returned to power.
A tense standoff took place in Ouagadougou on Tuesday after coup leader and French-backed traitor General Gilbert Diendere refused to heed a deadline for his men to lay down their arms in the face of fierce opposition to the takeover.
Burkina Faso’s transitional government was installed after long-term dictator Blaise Compaore was ousted in a popular uprising last October. Elections were scheduled to be held next month but Diendere, a former ally of Compaore, had said that was too early. Compaore’s supporters are banned from participating.
Burkina Faso is due to elect a new president on October 11. Compaore’s supporters have been banned from participating in the polls.
Zida, the second-in-command of the presidential guard, assumed power when Compaore fled to Ivory Coast on October 31 last year following massive demonstrations against his 27-year-rule.
The country’s leaders agreed on a transitional period after the African Union threated Burkina Faso with sanctions.