Burkina Faso’s interim president is back in charge after a week-long coup

“Back in action.”
“Back in action.”
Image: Reuters/Joe Penney
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Michel Kafando—Burkina Faso’s interim president tasked with preparing ground for the country’s democratic transition—is back in power after last week’s coup.

Reuters reports that Kafando announced his return to power during a press conference in the country’s capital, Ouagadougou, this morning, Sept. 23. ”The transition [government] is back and at this very minute is exercising the power of the state,” Kafando said.

Today’s return of the transitional government comes after West African heads of states successfully brokered a deal yesterday evening with the elite presidential guard that seized power last week.

Al Jazeera reports that under the deal, the country’s army forces—which were in confrontation with the presidential guard on Monday and Tuesday—would withdraw troops from the capital Ouagadougou, and the presidential guard would relinquish power. Members of the presidential guard, which have also clashed with civilians protesting the coup, would also be guaranteed safety.

General Gilbert Diendéré, who led the coup, had previously voiced his intent to remain in power until the country’s elections, scheduled for the Nov. 22. He later publicly apologized to the nation for leading the coup.

Burkina Faso has experienced no fewer than 6 coups since its independence from the French in 1960. Four of the five preceding coups—which took place in 1980, 1982, 1983 and 1987—all happened within a space of one decade.