We have the support of the army,’ Burkina coup leader Says

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General Gilbert Diendéré said that the coup in Burkina Faso had the support of the army and that those leaders seized in the coup would be freed.

Acting President Michel Kafando and Prime Minister Isaac Zida were detained along with two ministers when members of the Presidential Security Regiment (RSP) burst into a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Coup members later declared General Diendéré the new leader until “inclusive and peaceful” elections can be held.

In a statement, the RSP also announced the closure of the West African nation’s borders as well as the implementation of an overnight curfew.

“We have the support of the army and the defence forces,” Diendéré syas

Asked what would happen to Kafando and Zida, Diendéré said: “We are going to free them, we will not hold them indefinitely.”

Diendéré also says that he had  “no contact” with ex-president Blaise Compaoré during the takeover despite speculation over Compaoré’s links to the coup’s leaders. Diendéré once served as Compaoré’s closest aide.

Diendéré added that an ongoing case against Compaoré for treason would go ahead, saying that he had no intention of interfering with judicial proceedings.

The general said that new elections would be held as soon as possible.

“As soon as all the conditions have come together, we will be ready to return [to civilian rule]. We are not here to take power.”

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