Burkina Faso coup guards unit to be disbanded

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Interim President Michael Kafando attended the first post-coup cabinet meeting

A unit of guards that carried out a coup in Burkina Faso last week before handing back power is to be disbanded.

The interim government announced it was disbanding the presidential guard.

Interim President Michel Kafando was formally reinstated on Wednesday after an intervention from the army and several West African leaders.

Coup leader Gen Gilbert Diendere admitted the putsch had been "the biggest mistake". "We knew the people were not in favour of it," he said.

At least 10 people were killed and more than 100 injured in clashes during the take over.

The decision to disband the presidential guard (RSP) was taken at the first full meeting of the government since Mr Kafando's reinstatement.

They also dismissed the minister in charge of security and established a commission to identify those behind the coup.

Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida had warned that "those who will have to answer to justice will do so".

The RSP - a unit of 1,200 well-armed and well-trained men - is loyal to Blaise Compaore, the country's long-time ruler who was ousted in a popular uprising last year. They were unhappy about being integrated into the regular army.

Members of the unit stormed the cabinet room on 16 September taking the interim president, the prime minister and others.

A week later, when it became clear they did not enjoy popular support and after a threat from the regular army to step down or be ousted by force, the RSP withdrew.

An emergency meeting of the regional bloc Ecowas earlier in the week also helped to bring a smooth end to the crisis.

Image source, EPA
Image caption,
Coup leader Gen Gilbert Diendere has admitted the takeover was a mistake

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