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Burkina Faso Army: Soldiers Behind Coup Not Disarming

by VOA News September 28, 2015

Burkina Faso's army says the elite presidential guard behind a recent coup attempt is refusing to be disarmed.

The army says the planned disarmament of the guard, known as the RSP, has reached a 'dead end' because soldiers will not give up their weapons and because of 'ambiguous behavior' of RSP chief and coup leader General Gilbert Diendere.

The disarmament effort began Friday, the day Burkina Faso's leaders officially disbanded the guard.

The Cabinet is expected to hold an emergency meeting Monday to discuss the situation, and civil society groups have called for people to protest.

RSP members launched the coup attempt by arresting interim President Michel Kafando and other ministers on September 16. RSP members were unhappy the transitional government barred supporters of former president Blaise Compaore from running in upcoming elections.

Compaore was ousted in a popular uprising last October, as he tried to extend his 27 years in office.

Diendere took power, but was forced to step down under pressure from the army, the West African bloc ECOWAS, and demonstrating citizens.

President Kafando and Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida were reinstalled as the transitional government last Wednesday.

Diendere has said he regretted the coup attempt.

Before the coup, Burkina Faso was planning to hold national elections on October 11. It is currently unclear when the polls will take place.

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