Burkina Faso coup leader, Diendere, bows to pressure

Gilbert-DiendereECOWAS sends delegation to reinstate Kafando 
GENERAL Gilbert Diendere who led the recent coup in Burkina Faso bowed to pressure yesterday as he apologised to the nation and promised to hand over power to a civilian transitional government.

A statement issued by Gen. Diendere to announce his surrender came after the military threatened on Monday to forcibly disarm the presidential guard members whom he led to execute last week’s coup ahead of October 11 polls.

The development also came as leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) yesterday held a one-day summit in Abuja, Nigeria, on means to bring to an end the political stalemate in Burkina Faso. At the meeting, the leaders agreed to send a delegation to Burkina Faso to quicken resolution of the political impasse in the country.

Diendere said he would release the interim prime minister who has been under house arrest since the coup.
After the announcement, Al Jazeera reported from the capital, Ouagadougou, that people were taken to the streets by the military headquarters to celebrate what they hoped meant the end to the coup and the chance of elections later this year.

The military had earlier said that “all the national armed forces are converging on Ouagadougou with the sole aim of disarming the presidential guard without any bloodshed.”

Several people have been killed and dozens others injured during demonstrations against the coup.
Regional mediators spent the weekend trying to broker a compromise between the military government that seized power in a coup last week and other politicians in the West African country.

The ECOWAS leaders resolved to send a delegation comprising six Heads of States to Quagadougou, the capital, to re-instate Kafando, who was detained by military officers loyal to the ousted President, Compaore, into his position to function as the leader of the transitional administration.

Presenting the communique of the meeting which lasted for over seven hours, at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamadi Azikiwe International Airport, Anuja, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadire Desire Ouedraogo, said the leaders also mandated the Senegalese President, Macky Sall, in his capacity as the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of States and Governments to liaise with President Buhari of Nigeria to find amicable resolution to the crisis.

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