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Burkina Faso's deposed president agrees to resign under certain conditions

Burkina Faso's deposed president agrees to resign under certain conditions
Ousted Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba demands to continue operational activities on ground, among others things, say community mediators

By Aurore Bonny

DOUALA, Cameroon (AA) - The former president of Burkina Faso, who has been unaccounted for since his overthrow on Friday, offered to resign under certain conditions, the West African nation's religious and customary communities announced in a joint statement on Sunday.

"Following the mediation actions carried out by the said communities, President Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba has himself proposed his resignation in order to avoid clashes with serious human and material consequences," they said in the statement.

According to the statement, Lt. Col. Damiba, who was overthrown by fellow junta members, demanded that the new junta, led by Capt. Ibrahim Traore, strengthen cohesion in the defense and security forces, as well as national reconciliation, and that he continue operational activities on the ground.

He also demanded that the junta respects the commitments made to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), that it continues to reform the state, guarantees his security and rights, and those of his collaborators.

"Burkina Faso is going through moments of uncertainty. In these difficult times, there is a risk of escalation with dramatic consequences," said community and religious leaders as mediators between the warring parties.

The West African country is undergoing its second coup in less than a year by members of the same junta, now led by Traore, who accuses his former leader of betraying the objectives of the previous coup and for sake of rapprochement with foreign forces.

People in Burkina Faso have been holding demonstrations since Thursday demanding the departure of Damiba amid accusations that he serves the interests of France, the country's former colonial power.

Traore said Saturday that his predecessor had taken refuge in a French military base in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, from where he planned to launch a counter-offensive.

The ousted military leader later denied this in a statement published on the social networks of the presidency, as French authorities also denied any involvement of its army in the events in Burkina Faso.

- Protests damage French Embassy

Local media and observers reported on Saturday and Sunday that the people had vandalized several French installations in the country, including the French Embassy.

Urging calm and calling on people to desist from these acts, Traore assured national television on Sunday that "the situation is under control and that things are gradually returning to order."

He also ordered the reopening of the land and air borders that were shut during the putsch.

"The President of the Patriotic Movement for the Safeguard and Restoration (MPSR), informs national and international opinion that the air borders are open as of today, 02 October 2022," he said in a statement.

Traore is currently in charge of the day-to-day running of the state until he is sworn in, according to the junta.

Several regional and African communities and the international community have condemned this new putsch in a country that has experienced several since its independence.

ECOWAS, in a new statement issued on Sunday, reiterated "its firm condemnation of the seizure of power by force."

It asked the defense and security forces to avoid escalation and, in all circumstances, protect civilians.

source: News Feed
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