Saturday, 19 September 2015

Mediators Hint at Breakthrough in Burkina Faso Political Crisis

West African mediators late Saturday hinted at a breakthrough in Burkina Faso's political crisis after a military coup brought a general to power less than a month before scheduled elections.

But at a press conference, Benin President Thomas Boni Yayi did not give any details on a potential deal, instead saying only that a "good decision" would be announced Sunday.

Earlier Saturday, anti-coup demonstrators burned tires at roadblocks in Burkina Faso's capital and shouted slogans denouncing Gen. Gilbert Diendere, who was named leader of the country on

Thursday after members of the elite Presidential Security Regiment stormed a government meeting and detained the acting president and prime minister.

Though soldiers had used live rounds to repress earlier demonstrations, they had little presence in Ouagadougou on Saturday, emboldening demonstrators who cried out "Homeland or death!"

At least 10 people have been killed and more than 100 injured in the crackdown on anti-coup demonstrations in recent days, a worker at the Yalgado Ouedraogo Hospital in Ouagadougou said Saturday. The worker spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

Gen. Pingrenoma Zagre , the army chief,issued a statement Saturday condemning all violence against civilians and urging soldiers to act "with professionalism." He called on civilians to "trust the armed forces" as they worked to resolve the crisis.

The coup derailed a yearlong transition process that followed the fall of longtime President Blaise Compaore during a popular uprising last October.

In addition to the Ouagadougou protests, unrest has also flared in other regions of the country, with angry crowds burning the homes of some Compaore supporters. CONTINUE READING



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