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Burkina Faso president resigns Paul-Henri Damiba

OUAGADOUGOU. — Burkina Faso’s self-declared military leader Captain Ibrahim Traore has accepted a conditional resignation offered by President Paul-Henri Damiba to avoid further violence after Friday’s coup, religious and traditional leaders said yesterday. 

According to the deal, announced at a press conference, Traore had agreed to seven conditions, including a guarantee of Damiba’s safety and the security of soldiers who backed him, and the honouring of promises made to the West Africa regional bloc to return to constitutional rule by July 2024. 

Damiba could not be reached for comment. A close family member told Reuters he left the country yesterday. 

Traore said earlier that order was being restored after violent protests against the French embassy and days of fighting as his faction moved to topple the government. 

Traore’s team urged people to halt attacks on the French embassy, targeted by protesters after an officer said France had sheltered Damiba at a French military base in the West African country and that he was planning a counter-offensive. 

The French foreign ministry denied the base had hosted Damiba after his ouster last Friday. Damiba also denied he was at the base, saying 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 said in a statement broadcast on national television. 

Another statement said Traore would continue to act as president until a transitional civilian or military president is designated in the coming weeks. 

Ouagadougou was mostly calm yesterday after sporadic gunfire across the capital throughout Saturday between opposing army factions. — Reuters

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