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Burkina Faso Disbands Elite Unit Behind Failed Coup

  • VOA News

FILE - Presidential guard soldiers are seen on an armored vehicle at Laico hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Sept. 20, 2015.

FILE - Presidential guard soldiers are seen on an armored vehicle at Laico hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Sept. 20, 2015.

Burkina Faso's leaders have disbanded the elite presidential guard unit that staged a failed coup last week.

Interim President Michel Kafando signed the decree late Friday on national television. Kafando also fired the country's minister of security, Colonel Sidi Pare.

Members of the presidential guard mounted the coup last week, unhappy that the transitional government had barred supporters loyal to former President Blaise Compaore from contesting in the country's national election. Compaore was ousted in a popular uprising in October, as he attempted to extend his 27-year rule.

Kafando and Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida were reinstalled as the transitional government on Wednesday. Coup leader General Gilbert Diendere stepped down at the order of regional bloc, the Economic Community of West African States, and under pressure from the military and people.

Diendere has said he regretted the coup.

Before the coup, Burkina Faso was planning to hold elections on October 11, marking a return to democracy a year after Compaore's ouster. It is not clear if the vote will still go ahead on schedule.

ECOWAS leaders suggested a November 22 election date and recommended that Compaore's allies be allowed to field candidates. Some civil society associations and political parties have come out against amnesty for coup leaders.

The prime minister said Diendere's future was still being considered and an investigation is being launched into the coup. "Justice will be served after the conclusion of these investigations,'' said Zida.

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