Burkina Faso army reaches capital amid unrest

Sep 22, 2015, 3:09 AM EDT
Demonstrators burn tyres in the Tampouy neighborhood of Ouagadougou during a protest against a regional proposal to end the crisis in Burkina Faso on September 21, 2015, five days after a military coup.
AFP/Getty Images

Burkina Faso's army has reached the capital Ouagadougou to seek the surrender of the presidential guard who staged a coup last Thursday, reports the BBC.

Negotiations between army chiefs and the presidential guard are under way, security sources said. Coup leader Gen Gilbert Diendere told the BBC he is ready to hand back power, but only once a plan to end the crisis was backed by regional leaders.

The presidential guard is loyal to ousted President Blaise Compaore.

They arrested interim President Michel Kafando last Wednesday, installing Gen Diendere as new leader the following day. Since then at least 10 people have been killed and more than 100 injured in clashes.

France's ambassador to Burkina Faso, Gilles Thibault, tweeted that Mr Kafando has been released from house arrest and was now at the ambassador's residence.

Burkina Faso's army ordered the presidential guard to disarm before it marched on the capital. "We must now secure the surrender of the (coup leaders) without gunfire or bloodshed," Colonel Serge Alain Ouedraogo, of the Burkinabe police, told AFP.

Speaking to the BBC from a secret location, Gen Diendere said: "Ready to surrender? We are not there yet... We wish to continue the discussions and we say to all that we are ready to implement Ecowas' (West African regional group's) decisions."