Burkina Faso's Prime Minister released after military coup

Burkina Faso's Prime Minister released after military coup

Burkina Faso’s military says the interim prime minister has been released by the presidential guard that seized power in a coup last week.

The release of Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida came as the National Armed Forces stepped up the pressure on the mutinous soldiers to stand down.

Soldiers from around Burkina Faso have poured into the capital as the military vowed to disarm the mutinous presidential guard behind a coup.

Local media reported that the junta was being given a 10am deadline to disarm. The National Armed Forces said it wanted the mutinous soldiers to lay down their arms and return to barracks.

“I call on the population of Burkina Faso to remain calm and to have confidence in the National Armed Forces who have reaffirmed their unfailing commitment to preserve the unity of the nation,” General Pingrenoma Zagre said in a statement.

On Monday, the national army said it was sending soldiers from elsewhere around the country to Burkina Faso’s capital in a show of force.

The statement called on members of the presidential guard to lay down their weapons and return to their barracks.

The coup leader, General Gilbert Diendere, later apologised to the nation and said he would hand over power to a civilian transitional government.

West African regional mediators have proposed an agreement that calls for General Diendere to step down, and for interim President Michael Kafando to be reinstalled until elections can be held.

Mr Kafando, who has already been released by the junta, is staying at the residence of the French ambassador in Ouagadougou.

The vote would take place no later than the end of November, and allies of ex-president Blaise Compaore would be allowed to take part.

An electoral code passed earlier this year had banned members of Mr Compaore’s party from taking part in the election.

He was forced from power last October after 27 years in power in a popular uprising after he tried to prolong his rule by amending the constitution.

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