One week after he was sent out of power by the Presidential guards who staged a coup, Burkina Faso’s interim President Michel Kafando has said he is back in charge and civilian rule restored.
His announcement came as coup leader Gen Gilbert Diendere went to welcome several African leaders arriving to oversee the transfer of power, among them Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Diendere’s presidential guard agreed to a deal overnight with the regular army to avoid violence. They pledged to return to barracks and the army to withdraw from the capital.
The army on Monday ordered the coup leaders to step down or be ousted by force, raising the spectre of a civil war.
At least 10 people have been killed and more than 100 injured in clashes between the RSP and protesters.
“Dear compatriots, I am free of my movements and resuming service. The transition is back and is resuming the exercise of power,” Mr Kafando told journalists.
However, he said he was not fully committed to the plan, put together on Tuesday by West African presidents at an Abuja emergency meeting of the regional bloc Ecowas.
It is not clear whether the mediators’ peace plan includes key RSP demands for an amnesty for the coup leaders and the lifting of an electoral ban on those connected to Mr Compaore.
“We are proud of the mobilisation and fearlessness of the people of Burkina Faso, in particular of its youth, whose determination has stopped the coup succeeding”, Mr Kafando said.
“I salute the international community for having rejected unequivocally this action…
“Regarding the ECOWAS proposals for a solution to the crisis, it is obvious that we will only commit to them if they take into account the will of the Burkinabes.”
He had been detained during a cabinet meeting last Wednesday.
The interim president commended those who took to the street to protest
The agreement between the RSP and army was signed in front of the country’s most influential leader, Mogho Naba.
The BBC’s Maud Jullien in Ouagadougou says the deal ended the 24-hour stand-off and defused the tension ahead of the African leaders’ visit.
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