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Burkina Faso Coup Leader in Talks for Surrender

  • VOA News

FILE - Failed coup leader General Gilbert Diendere is seen speaking to the media in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Sept. 19, 2015.

FILE - Failed coup leader General Gilbert Diendere is seen speaking to the media in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Sept. 19, 2015.

Burkina Faso's government says it is trying to convince the general behind a recent short-lived coup to surrender, a day after he sought refuge in an embassy in the capital.

In a statement Wednesday, the government said negotiations are under way for the surrender of General Gilbert Diendere to transitional authorities. The statement did not specify which embassy he was in, but Reuters reports that he is in the Vatican compound in Ouagadougou.

The government also said soldiers are examining the main camp of the RSP, the presidential guard that Diendere led until it was officially disbanded last week. Army troops took over the camp after brief fighting on Tuesday.

The army was seeking to make the RSP disarm, in line with a peace deal last week that ended the coup attempt. Diendere appeared on local radio Tuesday to tell his men to give up their weapons.

Diendere's forces launched their coup attempt on September 16, detaining the country's interim president, prime minister and several cabinet members. The guard was unhappy the interim government barred supporters of former president Blaise Compaore from running in upcoming elections.

Compaore was ousted in a popular uprising last October, as he tried to extend his 27 years in office.

General Diendere was forced to step down a few days later in the wake of pressure from protesters, the army and the West African bloc ECOWAS.

Burkina Faso was planning to hold presidential and parliamentary elections on October 11. It remains unclear when the vote will take place.

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