A Week After Coup, Burkina Faso’s Interim President Back In Power

September 23, 2015

In an official handover ceremony Wednesday in the capital city Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s interim president, Michel Kafando, who was arrested during a coup last week, officially took back control of the country. Prime Minister Isaac Zida also resumed his post.

“During this ordeal, we have fought together and in freedom we triumph together,” Kafando said, according to The Associated Press. “We are proud of the intrepid Burkinabe people, in particular our youth.”

The move to restore Kafando and Zida to power comes two days after coup leader Gen. Gilbert Diendere apologized for the coup and promised to return control of the country to the civilian government.

As NPR’s Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reported Tuesday:

“This appears to be a U-turn by Gen. Gilbert Diendere, who led the coup by the elite national guard. He has addressed the nation, saying he’s sorry and wants to avoid any more bloodshed in Burkina Faso.”

Diendere did not attend the power-handoff ceremony, according to the AP.

After Kafando’s arrest last week, he was released on Friday and sought refuge at the French Embassy. Zida was released Tuesday.

The abandoned uprising came less than a month before the west African country’s planned Oct. 11 elections.

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