Burkina Faso: coup supporters attack peace talks venue, disrupt negotiations

President Michael Kafondo has been freed but his officials are still being held.

President Michael Kafondo has been freed but his officials are still being held.

Hopes of reinstatement of the transitional government in Burkina Faso were dealt a blow as supporters of Wednesday’s coup broke into Laico hotel in the capital Ouagadougou Sunday morning where players in the turmoil were due to meet and finalize plans to hand power back to the interim leaders of the country, reports indicate.

“They invaded the hotel. It was violent, they attacked ex-opposition members as they arrived. One had to be saved from the crowd by security forces.” One eye-witness told Reuters.

Pro-coup demonstrators and the RSP former presidential guard troops attacked stakeholders at the hotel including foreign diplomats and mediators of the dialogue.

The President of Benin, Thomas Boni Yayi one of the facilitators had announced Saturday evening progress had been made in restoring the interim leadership.

Anti-coup protestors taking to the streets in Ouagadougou, Saturday

Anti-coup protestors taking to the streets in Ouagadougou, Saturday

“All the players will come together tomorrow morning (Sunday) to issue the good news to the whole world.” President Yayi told reporters shortly after meeting with coup leaders and stakeholders in the conflict.

Troops loyal to Blaise Compaore swept through Ouagadougou taking top government officials including interim President Micheal Kafondo hostage. He has since been released but other leaders are still in the military custody.

Prior to the coup, Burkina Faso had been preparing to go to the polls next month to elect Compaore’s successor.
The coup has been widely condemned by the international community and the African Union has suspended the country urging immediate restoration of civilian transitional government.

General Gilbert Diendere, the man who has been appointed president following the putsch says they resorted to force after Compaore’s loyalists were banned from participating in the October polls.