Michel Kafando, the interim president of Burkina Faso, returned to power today after being ousted in a military coup last week. The coup, carried out by supporters of former president Blaise Compaoré, was met with protests among the Burkinabe people and condemnation from fellow leaders of West African nations.
A truce with putsch leader Gen. Gilbert Diendere was orchestrated by the Economic Community of West African States, a group of 15 countries in the region. It is unclear whether Diendre will face persecution or be granted amnesty, the New York Times reports.
Diendre and other members of the Presidential Security Regiment, a military unit that served as Comaporé’s presidential guard, arrested Kafando and the transitional prime minister during a cabinet meeting last week. In a statement, the putschists claimed that they were reacting against a dictum by the transitional that Comaporé supporters would not be allowed to run in Burkina Faso’s upcoming presidential election, which was postponed from October 11 to late November under the truce. It is also unclear whether the rule barring Comaporé supporters will remain in effect.
Comaporé resigned in 2014 following protests against his attempt to introduce a constitutional amendment allowing him to extend his 27-year presidential term. Diendre’s coup, perceived as an attempt to reinstate the Comaporé regime or its allies, was also met with popular uprising.