OUAGADOUGOU – (AA) Burkina Faso’s president announced on Wednesday that he had been reinstated after being briefly detained during a coup last week.
One week ago, units from the country’s Presidential Guard stormed into a cabinet meeting and arrested interim President Michel Kafando, Prime Minister Isaac Zida, and a handful of other government ministers.
Following opposition from the country’s military establishment, Kafando was released two days later while Zida was released on Friday.
Gen. Gilbert Diendere – who carried out last week’s coup – said late Tuesday that his supporters and he had “no intention” of dragging the country into civil war.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency on Tuesday, Diendere said he was “in consultations” with army leaders who had voiced their opposition to the coup.
He went on to assert that no armed confrontations had occurred.
The general’s statements came shortly after ECOWAS heads of state met in Abuja, Nigeria on Tuesday to discuss Burkina Faso’s political crisis.
According to an ECOWAS statement, summit participants had decided “to dispatch to Ouagadougou on Sept. 23 a high committee of heads of state and government comprising [representatives from] Benin, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria and Togo”.
It added: “The committee will ensure the reinstatement of transitional President H. E. Michel Kafando and convey the solidarity of ECOWAS to the Burkinabe people, thereby helping to defusing the prevailing tension and initiating inclusive national dialogue.”
On Tuesday, the Burkinabe military establishment issued an ultimatum to the coup leaders, demanding that they lay down their arms.
Prompting fears of possible conflict, Gen. Diendere had initially responded by saying his troops were “prepared to defend themselves”.
Since last Wednesday, political violence across the West African nation has left at least ten people dead, according to Balai Citoyen, a local NGO.
Members of the international community, meanwhile, including Turkey, the U.S., France and the African Union, have condemned last week’s coup in the former French colony.
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