Burkina Faso army enters capital to end coup
Burkina Faso’s army has entered the country’s capital, Ouagadougou, to attempt to arrest the leaders of last week’s coup against President Michel Kafando.
Colonel Serge Alain Ouedraogo, the deputy head of the Burkinabe police, told AFP that “all units (of the army mobilized on Monday to march on the capital) reached Ouagadougou.”
“We must now secure the surrender of the (coup leaders) without gunfire or bloodshed,” he also said.
The army also released a statement, saying that, “All the national armed forces are converging on Ouagadougou with the sole aim of disarming the presidential guard (RSP) without any bloodshed,” referring to the guards who had staged the coup.
The statement also demanded that the coup members go to the Sangoule Lamizana military barracks west of the capital, saying they and their families would remain safe there.
The RSP, an elite unit of 1,300 guards, declared a military coup on Thursday and installed General Gilbert Diendere as the country’s new leader.
The group drew international condemnation for the move, with the French president threatening that “all those involved” in the coup would “face the consequences” if they do not lay down their arms.
Meanwhile, the French ambassador to the western African country, Gilles Thibault, tweeted that President Kafando, who had been under house arrest, was now “at the French residence” in Ouagadougou.
The country’s leader had been under arrest since Wednesday when soldiers from the powerful presidential guard regiment loyal to ex-president Blaise Compaore detained him and several other state officials. Kafando was released on Sunday, however.
The leaders of last week’s coup also freed interim Prime Minister Isaac Zida early Tuesday.
At least 10 people were killed and more than 100 others injured in protests sparked by the coup.