The story is far from over but it looks like the coup has run its course. It’s still a bit premature to say it’s over, however coup leader General Gilbert Diendere made an announcement on state television this evening apologizing to the nation and saying he would hand power back to the civilian-led transition.
It was just recently confirmed that Interim President Michel Kafando was released from house arrest and at the French Embassy. Prime Minister Zida, the former 2nd in command of RSP, the elite forces of the army which staged the coup d’etat, is also thought to be freed but that is not yet confirmed.
At approximately 18HR this evening, the entire military of the country converged on Ouagadougou and surrounded it. The Army chief issued a final warning to RSP soldiers to lay down their arms and return to military Camp Lamizana where they and their families were promised to be protected.
Coup leader Diendere is reportedly seeking refuge and pardon at the palace of the Mogho Naaba, where an angry mob of protesters has gathered. That is where things stand now. There has been talk of potential attacks tonight by the army against any last stalwart RSP soldiers who still occupy the Presidential Palace Kossyam.
Tomorrow will bring new revelations as the extraordinary meeting of th African Union and ECOWAS will hammer out details of the handover of power and the fate of the ousted coup leader Diendere. One thing is clear- the draft proposal put forward yesterday after mediation talks by Benin President Boni Yayi who is also acting chair of ECOWAS, was not accrptable as it nearly brought the nation to the brink of civil war. Thankfully, Diendere acknowledged publicly in his address that he did not want to pit the two parts of the nation’s army against each other and at this point sought to avoid further bloodshed… a fitting end to the International Day of Peace.