Burkina Army Ready to Raid Coup Leaders

Burkina Army Ready to Raid Coup LeadersBurkina Army Ready to Raid Coup Leaders

Loyalist troops mass in the capital Ouagadougou as the 10 a.m. deadline expires for coup leaders to lay down their weapons.

Troops loyal to Burkina Faso’s deposed government said they were preparing to attack the Camp Naaba military base near the capital’s presidential palace, which is held by troops who staged a coup last week, Al Jazeera reported.

Loyalist troops have been massing in the capital on Tuesday and have told those behind the coup, which derailed a democratic transition process, to disarm and surrender by 10 a.m. or face attack.

As the deadline expired, ex-spy chief General Gilbert Diendere held a press conference, saying he was still in charge and that he was awaiting the outcome of an ECOWAS summit in Abuja, Nigeria, where African leaders were discussing developments in Burkina Faso.

“I’m not stalling for time. I’m within the time allotted to me,” he told a news conference, reiterating that he was still president of the National Democratic Council, as his group is known.

Al Jazeera’s Nicolas Haque, reporting from Ouagadougou, said the situation in the capital was tense even as the country’s state TV channel was showing a wildlife documentary.

“Minutes before the deadline expired, General Diendere called a press conference and released a statement saying he wants to stand by the framework agreement that was negotiated with ECOWAS,” Haque reported.

“The civil society and most of the people here don’t agree with this agreement.”

In an apparent olive branch, the coup leaders released interim Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida, who had been held hostage since the revolt began, his adviser and another loyalist officer said.