Africa

Burkina Faso coup: 'Breakthrough' in talks

People protest against the coup with roadblocks and burning tyres, 19 Sept Image copyright AFP
Image caption People have protested against the coup with roadblocks and burning tyres

A delegation mediating in Burkina Faso after a coup this week says there has been a breakthrough and hinted the transitional government could return.

Benin President Thomas Boni Yayi was speaking after meeting coup leader Gen Gilbert Diendere in Ouagadougou.

Mr Boni Yayi suggested an announcement on Sunday could see the reinstatement of President Michel Kafando.

At least 10 people have been killed and more than 100 hurt in clashes since Thursday's coup.

The coup in the former French colony was condemned by the US and France, and the African Union suspended Burkina Faso.

'Diendere should leave'

The international delegation, which also includes Senegalese President Macky Sall, held crisis talks on Saturday with Gen Diendere, who was the chief of staff to former president Blaise Compaore, deposed in a popular uprising last October.

Mr Boni Yayi said: "All the players will come together tomorrow morning (Sunday) to issue the good news to the whole world."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The junta leaders say Mr Kafando has been freed and is in good health.

When pressed he said: "We are going to re-launch the transition - a transition led by civilians, with Michel Kafando," Reuters new agency reported.

One foreign diplomatic source told Agence France-Presse: "What is envisaged - and what will be done - is maintaining Kafando as head of state and for the government to complete the transition. Diendere should leave."

The head of the army, Gen Pingrenoma Zagre, had issued a statement earlier on Saturday condemning the violence against civilians and calling on the military to be professional.

He urged the people to trust the armed forces to resolve the crisis.

But impromptu roadblocks with burning tyres have been set up across the country in protest at the coup.

Andre, a student, told AFP: "We got rid of Blaise [Compaore]. It's not on for him to come back or for us to see his aide come back a year later."

Elections are due to be held in the West African nation on 11 October.

The junta leaders have said that Mr Kafando has been freed and is in good health.

However, other questions remain unanswered, including the fate of Prime Minister Isaac Zida, who was also detained when the presidential guard stormed a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.


Image copyright AFP
Image caption Blaise Compaore was accused of committing widespread abuses

Mr Compaore is currently in exile and was accused of committing widespread abuses, and trying to change the constitution to extend his term in office.

Some of his key allies had been barred from contesting the election.

Gen Diendere has said he has had no contact with Mr Compaore and will do everything to "avoid violence that could plunge the country into chaos".


Seven things about Burkina Faso:

Image copyright AFP
  • It is one of the world's poorest countries - its main export is cotton
  • A former French colony, it gained independence as Upper Volta in 1960
  • Capt Thomas Sankara seized power in 1983 and adopted radical left-wing policies - he is often referred to as "Africa's Che Guevara"
  • The anti-imperialist revolutionary renamed the country Burkina Faso, which translates as "land of honest men"
  • Mr Compaore took power in the coup that killed Mr Sankara, and ruled for 27 years, until he was ousted last year following street protests
  • People in Burkina Faso, known as Burkinabes, love riding motor scooters
  • It is renowned for its pan-African film festival, Fespaco, held every two years in Ouagadougou

The 'heroes' of Burkina Faso's revolution

The rise and fall of Blaise Compaore

Guide to Burkina Faso

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