Burkina Faso’s interim President Michel Kafando said on Wednesday he was back in charge and had restored a civilian transitional government after elite soldiers behind a coup last week agreed to relinquish power.
The announcement came as coup leader General Gilbert Diendere went to welcome a delegation of West African leaders arriving to ensure that Kafando is reinstated.
Diendere’s presidential guard, which stormed a cabinet meeting a week ago and took the president and other government members hostage, agreed to a deal overnight with the regular army to avoid violence.
Under the terms of the accord, Diendere’s men agreed to leave Ouagadougou’s streets and return to barracks while loyalists will withdraw to 50 km (31 miles) outside of the capital.
Kafando’s return caps a tumultuous week in Burkina Faso, where General Diendere and his supporters seized power last Wednesday just a month before a presidential election. The vote was organised after longtime leader Blaise Compaoré was ousted last October in a popular uprising, with the transitional government led by Kafando slated to remain in power until that vote.
The military said Wednesday it had reached an agreement with other members of Diendere’s guard overnight.
Diendere had been a top aide to Compaoré and the head of the presidential guard under his administration.
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