At about 7pm here in Burkina, the nation received the word everyone’s been waiting for- the decision of ECOWAS.
RSP must lay down their arms.
General Diendere must cede power back to the transition govrrnment.
Michel Kafando will be symbolically sworn back in as Interim President Wednesday morning at 10am local time.
A Presidential delegation consisting of 5 Heads of State from Senegal, Benin, Togo, Nigeria and Ghana will meet on Wednesday morning to continue mediation talks.
Although the riveting tension of the day’s military face off which brought this small, impoverished yet dignified nation to the brink of civil war was eased, some intractable sticking points remain:
- Amnesty for General Diendere and the perpetrators of the coup
Inclusion of the ousted CDP party in the upcoming elections
Military reform to deal with the fate of RSP
Although the general population was relieved that bloodshed was averted and Ouagadougou could cool down, their is still much fire in the belly to oppose any form of amnesty for coup leaders who have paralyzed the country for a week, disrupting the move toward democracy, the nation’s ability to work (everything has stopped since the coup), even the scheduled return of children nationwide going back to school, and possibly longer term damage to Burkina’scommunications infrastructure which RSP destroyed to prevent civil mobilization. There is equal uninamity against any inclusion of electoral candidates who supported the unconstitutional extension of the 27-year regime.
Interestingly, there is also wide skepticism among Burkinabe about ECOWAS in general, partly because the majority of its members were close to Compaore, and also because there is a sense on the street that Burkina can handle this problem on its own, without international or Francophone intervention.
Before the night was over, the Mossi Emperor, Mogho Naaba, still proving to play a key role in the nation’s political crisis, brokered a deal, reportedly on a handwritten note, creating a truce between RSP and the national army. RSP would leave the positions it had taken up and return to its barracks. The army would in turn step back 50km outside of Ouagadougou.
As BARKA Foundation is partly an American NGO (we are also partly a Burkinabe NGO), it is interesting for us to note that earlier in the day, as tensions were spiking to their highest point, US Ambassador Tulinabo Mushingi said in a radio interview on Radio Omega that the US is on the side of the people Burkina Faso. Clearly, so are we.