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Kafando back in power in Burkina Faso

By Ed Adamczyk
The interim government of Burkina Faso was returned to power, after government forces loyal to former Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore, seen here at the United Nations in 2013, overthrew interim President Michel Kafando last week. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI
The interim government of Burkina Faso was returned to power, after government forces loyal to former Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore, seen here at the United Nations in 2013, overthrew interim President Michel Kafando last week. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

ABUJA , Nigeria, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Michael Kafando announced Wednesday he has returned as interim president of Burkina Faso after a military coup last week.

Coup leader Gen. Gilbert Diendere, of the African country's elite, 1,300-member presidential guard stepped down after the army agreed to withdraw its troops from Ouagadougou, the capital, and guarantee the safety of presidential guard members loyal to former President Blaise Compaore.

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Compaore was ousted in a popular uprising in 2014.

The concessions came after several African heads of state met in Abuja, Nigeria, in an attempt to peacefully break the impasse. The peace deal was formally presented to Mogha Naba, leader of Burkina Faso's majority Mossi ethnic tribe, who signaled his approval.

At least 10 people died and more than 100 were injured in street protests in the capital as the presidential guard sought to calm the country after the takeover. The army met no resistance from the presidential guard Tuesday as it entered Ouagadougou.

Kafando and Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida were detained by participants in the coup, but both were released by Wednesday.

It remains unclear if key presidential guard demands, including amnesty for coup leaders and the removal of a ban on running for election by partisans of Compaore, are included in the peace plan.

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Tuesday, Diendere said the return of Kafando "is already a done deal. The heads of state arrive tomorrow to put him back in office."

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