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Burkina Faso Freezes Failed Coup Leaders’ Assets

Burkina Faso is freezing the assets of the leaders of the recent failed coup in which the president and prime minister were taken hostage just weeks before elections were scheduled to be held.

State prosecutor Laurent Poda made the announcement Saturday, saying the move will apply to coup leader Gen. Gilbert Diendere and 13 other individuals, as well as three political parties linked to former president Blaise Compaore.

The decision, which applied to financial and property assets, is part of a crackdown against the coup leaders and their perceived supporters and comes one day after the Cabinet disbanded the elite presidential guard that staged the failed coup.

The guard arrested Interim President Michel Kafando and Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida on September 16. Diendere then took power, but stepped down after pressure from the West African regional bloc ECOWAS, Burkina Faso’s military and demonstrating citizens. Kafando and Zida were reinstalled as the transitional government on Wednesday.

Michel Kafando being sworn in as Burkina Faso’s transitional president in October 2014. Photograph: EPA

Michel Kafando being sworn in as Burkina Faso’s transitional president in October 2014. Photograph: EPA

Diendere has said he regrets the coup.

Elite guard members were unhappy that the transitional government barred supporters loyal to Compaore from contesting in the country’s national election. Compaore was ousted in a popular uprising last year as he attempted to extend his 27-year rule.

Before the coup, Burkina Faso was planning to hold elections on October 11, marking a return to democracy a year after Compaore’s ouster. ECOWAS leaders suggested a November 22 election date and recommended that Compaore’s allies be allowed to field candidates. Some civil society associations and political parties have come out against amnesty for coup leaders.

The prime minister said Diendere’s future was still being considered and an investigation is being launched into the coup. “Justice will be served after the conclusion of these investigations,” Zida said. – VOA NEWS


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