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Burkina faso putschists ‘refusing’ to disarm: army

Gilbert Diendere

Gilbert Diendere

An elite presidential guard which staged a week-long coup in Burkina Faso is refusing to disarm in line with a west African peace deal, the army said Monday.

The peace deal brokered by the ECOWAS regional bloc is “at an impasse” the chief of army staff said, denouncing the powerful RSP unit of guards for “refusing to follow the disarmament by creating incidents and attacking personnel charged with this mission.”

Burkina’s reinstalled interim cabinet on Friday dissolved the RSP guard, which is loyal to ousted veteran dictator Blaise Compaore and whose officers detained interim President Michel Kafando and Prime Minister Isaac Zida on September 16.

The unit declared a coup the following day and installed Gilbert Diendere, Compaore’s former chief of staff, as the new leader.

The chief of army staff also denounced the “ambiguous behaviour of General Gilbert Diendere” without giving any details.

A source in the RSP told AFP that the disarmament process was deadlocked as a pledge by the government to ensure the safety of the putschists as well as their families was not being respected.

The peace deal also called on loyalist troops who had converged on the capital Ouagadougou to pressure the coup leaders into submission, to withdraw 50 kilometres away, but they were still ensconced within the city, the source added.

At least 10 people were killed and more than 100 injured in protests triggered by the coup, which came just weeks before the first elections scheduled to be held since Compaore’s 2014 ouster after 27 years of iron-fisted rule.



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