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Burkina Faso Coup Leader Agrees to Peace Deal

Gen. Gilbert Diendere, who was named leader of Burkina Faso on Thursday, speaks to media in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Sept. 19, 2015.
Gen. Gilbert Diendere, who was named leader of Burkina Faso on Thursday, speaks to media in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Sept. 19, 2015.

In the West African nation of Burkina Faso, coup leader General Gilbert Diendéré agreed Monday to the proposed peace deal that was announced on Sunday. Diendéré said he will hand over power to the transitional government.

Earlier in the day, army troops were heading toward the capital city of Ouagadougou, demanding the putschists, or coup participants, surrender.

In a matter of hours, Ouagadougou became a ghost town Monday as news spread that army trucks were heading there to defeat presidential guard soldiers who seized power last week.

Adama Oudréaogo, sitting outside the shop he was guarding, said he supported the army stepping in. He said the army intervention would save the people, because they were really disappointed with the way General Gilbert Diendéré reacted.

Anger has been building over the past few days among anti-coup protesters.

On Sunday, a proposed peace deal mediated by West African nations was announced.

Negotiators agreed to many of the demands by coup leaders, including an amnesty for Diendéré and an inclusive election, in exchange for the return to the transitional constitutions, and to interim president Michel Kafando.

Soon after the news of an army intervention broke, Diendéré agreed to the recommendations of the proposed peace deal: he will hand back the power to the transitional government and Prime Minister Isaac Zida will be released.

But the deal has been criticized by anti-coup protesters, who claimed proposed amnesty for coup participants is an unacceptable compromise.

Protester Mamadou Salvador says they were disappointed that coup participants took their guns and killed families. And now he said, they want amnesty for it. He said the proposed measure is a shame for the country.

The presidential guard, RSP, overthrew Burkina Faso's transitional government last Wednesday, less than a month before elections. Diendere said the polls were "biased," because supporters of former president Blaise Compaore were barred from running.

Compaore ruled Burkina Faso for 27 years before being ousted in a popular uprising last year, when he tried to change the constitution to extend his presidency.

Protests against the coup turned violent, killing at least 10 and injuring more than 100.

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