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Coup Reversal Restores Calm in Burkina Faso

Anti-coup protesters hold Burkina Faso flag in Ouagadougou, Sept. 22, 2015.
Anti-coup protesters hold Burkina Faso flag in Ouagadougou, Sept. 22, 2015.

Life is getting back to normal in Burkina Faso as the country recovers from a week-long political crisis provoked by a coup that was reversed Wednesday.

Army tanks and policemen are less visible in the streets of the capital, Ouagadougou, a day after coup leaders from the presidential guard handed power back to the transitional civilian government.

Some banks are open for the first time in days, as are shops in the market, which comes as a relief to Ouagadougou residents such as Kafanda Haruna.

"Here in the market, it was difficult to find food," he said. "We suffered a lot."

Most petrol stations remain closed but are due to reopen Friday. Fuel shortages led street vendors to increase gas prices by 50% this week.

The main city square is still blocked off, so Muslims wishing to celebrate Eid al-Adha Thursday had to go to the municipal stadium to pray.

For worshiper Daouda Birba, President Michel Kafando's return to office comes as a relief.

This past week, "we didn't work and we couldn't go out because of the crisis," he said. "But in the next few days, God willing, all services will open again and there won't be any problem."

Coup leader General Gilbert Diendéré says he regrets the coup, and weeklong unrest that killed at least 10 people.

Diendere stepped aside Wednesday and the presidential guard agreed to remain in its barracks.

Out for Eid prayers Thursday, Amadou Traore, says he is not ready to forgive and forget.

"It's not enough that the RSP have put down their weapons," he said. "People want the RSP to be disbanded. We do not want to hear about them anymore, because they killed their brothers."

The government has not said what it plans to do about the RSP or upcoming October 11 elections that have since been postponed.