Civilian government restored as Burkina Faso coup ends

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Gilbert Diendéré in 2010.
Image: Jeremiah Erickson, USAF.

The week-long coup d'état in Burkina Faso ended on Wednesday with the restoration of interim President Michel Kafando and the civilian government. By yesterday the government announced that the presidential guard unit involved in the coup, the Regiment of Presidential Security, would be dissolved.

This follows the intercession of regional leaders and the regular Army, which sent soldiers to the capital on Monday.

The leaders of the Economic Community of West African States met on Tuesday in the Nigerian capital Abuja and helped with negotiations. A prominent mediation role was also played by the Mogho Naba, the traditional king of the Mossi, who are the country's largest ethnic group. Civilian protests against the coup resulted in the deaths of at least ten people with more than a hundred injured. The attempt to overthrow the government was criticized by the international community, with the African Union suspending the country's membership and describing the coup as "null and void".

The President and Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida were detained by the presidential guards at a ministerial meeting on September 16. The guards installed their former commander, Gilbert Diendéré, as head of state and demanded the lifting of a ban on electoral participation by anybody who had tried to help exiled former President Blaise Compaoré to extend his 27-year rule in October 2014. Diendéré was previously Compaoré's chief of staff.