Burkina Faso junta leader Damiba agrees to step down
The head of the ousted military council in Burkina Faso Paul Damiba agrees to resign and Ibrahim Traore takes over as president of the council.
Religious and community leaders said Sunday that Burkina Faso's junta leader Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba agreed to step down Sunday, two days after military officers announced he had been removed from power.
Following mediation between Damiba and the new coup leader, Captain Ibrahim Traore, "Damiba himself offered his resignation in order to avoid confrontations with serious human and material consequences," the religious and community leaders announced in a statement.
Earlier, Traore said that order was being restored in the country following violent protests against the French embassy in Ouagadougou and days of clashes.
Security forces fired harmful tear gas at protesters outside the embassy, according to an AFP journalist.
Traore's side urged people to refrain from attacking the French embassy that was targeted after an officer involved in the coup revealed that France had sheltered Damiba at a French military base in the country and that he was planning a counteroffensive.
The French Foreign Ministry claimed the base had not hosted Damiba after his ouster on Friday. Damiba, which his whereabouts remain unknown, also denied he was at the French base, claiming that the reports were a deliberate manipulation of public opinion.
"We want to inform the population that the situation is under control and order is being restored," an army officer announced in a statement broadcast on national television.
"We invite you to continue with your activities and refrain from all acts of violence and vandalism... notably that against the French embassy and the French military base," the officer said.
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso's capital, was mostly calm on Sunday after sporadic gunfire throughout Saturday between opposing factions of the army.
On Friday, Traore announced that he led a coup against Damiba, dissolved the government, and suspended Burkina Faso's constitution and transitional charter.
Traore said a group of officers took the decision to topple Damiba over his inability to deal with the growing terror attacks in the country. The borders are currently closed indefinitely and all political and civil society activities have been suspended, he added.
This is the country's second military coup in eight months, with Damiba only assuming power in January after outsing former President Rock Kabore via a coup of his own in light of growing frustration over the state of the country's security.
On September 28, a convoy carrying supplies was attacked in the town of Djibo, leaving 11 soldiers killed and around 50 civilians missing.
It is noteworthy that more than 40% of the African nation, previously a French colony, is not under government control as most of the Sahel, including Niger and Mali, is suffering from the outcomes of the insurgency, which is beginning to spill over into the Ivory Coast and Togo.