Burkina Faso’s interim President Michel Kafando was yesterday formally reinstated, a week after the military forcefully took over power from his administration.
The ceremony took place in the capital, Ouagadougou, in the presence of several West African leaders who helped mediate an end to the crisis.
It comes a day after the presidential guard, who were behind the coup, signed a deal with the regular army to avoid violence.
They pledged to return to barracks and the army to withdraw from the capital.
The presidential guard, RSP, is loyal to Blaise Compaore, the country’s long-time ruler who was ousted in a popular uprising last year.
The elite troops installed Gen Gilbert Diendere as the leader last week – a month before elections had been due in the landlocked country.
He greeted arriving African leaders at the airport, along with the army chief of staff, but did not attend the transfer of power ceremony.
The army on Monday had ordered the coup leaders to step down or be ousted by force, raising the spectre of a civil war.
At least 10 people have been killed and more than 100 injured in clashes between the RSP and protesters.
Although the president has been officially reinstated, the crucial issues that prompted the coup remained unresolved.
After the ceremony, coup leader Gen Gilbert Diendere went into a closed-door meeting with the West African leaders.
He has faced national and international pressure over the past few days to hand back power, but he still has the most powerful troops in the country behind him.
These 1,200 well-armed and well-trained men are unlikely to accept surrender or the exclusion of the CDP candidates.
But civil society and protesters say they will not accept amnesty for those that led the coup.
Meanwhile, President Kafando has thanked the West African leaders and civil society groups for their support.
ECOWAS leaders met in Abuja on Tuesday and resolved to move to Ouagadougou yesterday to restore peace in the country.
Benin’s President, Thomas Boni Yayi, at the ceremony, said efforts must now be focused on efforts to quickly bring free, fair and transparent elections.
It is not clear whether the mediators’ peace plan includes key RSP demands for an amnesty for the coup leaders and the lifting of an electoral ban on those connected to Mr Compaore.
Earlier yesterday, Mr Kafando said he was not fully committed to the plan.
“We are proud of the mobilisation and fearlessness of the people of Burkina Faso, in particular of its youth, whose determination has stopped” the coup succeeding, Mr Kafando said.
“I salute the international community for having rejected unequivocally this action.
“Regarding the ECOWAS proposals for a solution to the crisis, it is obvious that we will only commit to them if they take into account the will of the Burkinabes,” he said.


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