December 17, 2017

Burkina Faso: President Kafando Back in Office

Interim President of Burkina Faso Michel Kafando speaks during his inauguration ceremony November 21,  2014 in Ouagadougou.  Kafando, 72, former ambassador to the UN,  was sworn in as transitional president three weeks after the fall of Blaise Compaore when he tried to extend his 27-year rule.      AFP PHOTO / SIA KAMBOU

By Derrick Kiplagat

Burkina Faso’s interim President Michel Kafando who was detained last week alongside other top government officials by the Presidential Elite Squad has resumed office today, after a week-long coup by troops, who gave up power following pressure from regional powers and the French Government.

The move comes after several talks were held at the country’s capital Ouagadougou, by regional representatives and the Nigerian army, bolstered by the ECOWAS and threats by French President Francois Hollande that the coup leaders could face sanctions if they did not hand power back.

“The transition has been restored and this very minute I am resuming the exercise of power,” President Kafando told reporters. Six ECOWAS heads of state were present to oversee the formal re-installation of Kafando and to try and solve two issues: an amnesty plan for the Putsch planners and whether upcoming elections should be open to supporters of previously deposed dictator Blaise Compaore. During the mediations, President Kafando said the regional leader would put into account the will of Burkinabe people.

The deal to restore the interim government was signed overnight after troops entered Ouagadougou, piling pressure on the Elite Presidential Guards (RSP) who were responsible for the coup.

Under the term for the restoration of the interim government, the RSP has agreed to stand down on condition that the army withdrew its troops and guarantee the safety of the RSP members as well as their families.

The signed treaty was handed over to the “Mogho Naba” who is the King of Burkina Faso’s leading Mossi tribe, in front of the media early Wednesday.

Trouble started in the West African state last Wednesday when the powerful RSP detained the President alongside other interim leaders who had been running the country since the ousting of President Compaore in October 2014.

The move had, however, received global condemnation, possibly part of the reasons the RSP stood down.

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