Burkina Faso coup over, but questions remain

Burkina Faso’s coup is over, and the transitional civilian government is back in control of the country:

The president of Burkina Faso was back in charge on Wednesday and said he would resume overseeing a transition to democracy, ending a coup by presidential guard soldiers who took him hostage last week.

Michel Kafando addressed his supporters and West African leaders who flew to the capital of the West African state to negotiate the terms of the end to the coup, in which troops under General Gilbert Diendere briefly took power.

Diendere had greeted the heads of state from Nigeria, Ghana, Benin and Niger at the airport earlier in the day, giving the impression he was still in charge. But he did not attend Kafando’s speech and later said he regretted the coup.

The immediate political (and military) threat is over, but there’s a lot of fallout from this coup attempt that now needs to be sorted out. Are the coup leaders going to face legal repercussions for their actions? The deal that was floated by ECOWAS over the weekend actually includes amnesty for the coup plotters, but nobody really knows if the ECOWAS deal was the basis for this resolution. What happens to the scheduled October 11 elections? Will they go on as planned, be rescheduled, what? And will the law be changed to allow supporters of former President Blaise Compaoré to stand for office? Also, and maybe most importantly, what’s going to happen with Diendéré’s presidential guard? This coup happened right after a national commission recommended that the guard be disbanded, and its continued existence would only seem to invite future coup attempts.

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