Not so fast

It would appear that Burkina Faso’s coup isn’t quite over yet after all, and things may be on the verge of turning violent. Despite yesterday’s promise by the junta to return the government to civilian control, apparently Gilbert Diendéré didn’t mean he was going to reinstate the civilian government right away, I mean, can’t a guy even take a week to enjoy being dictator before you force him into retirement?

I kid. What’s holding the transition up is that Diendéré says he and the junta won’t step aside until West African leaders sign off on a peace plan drafted by the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) over the weekend. Which is understandable, seeing as how the ECOWAS plan protects the coup plotters and actually rewards them for staging the coup:

It would give Gen Diendere and his troops full amnesty, and allow candidates of former ruler Blaise Compaore to run for presidency in elections to be held by the end of November.

In an interview with BBC Afrique, the general apologised to the nation for staging a coup, saying it was “the least we could do”.

“Ready to surrender? We are not there yet… We wish to continue the discussions and we say to all that we are ready to implement Ecowas’ decisions,” said Gen Diendere, who once served as chief of staff to Mr Compaore.

It was an electoral ban on Compaoré allies that supposedly motivated this whole thing to begin with, though the real cause was probably plans to disband Diendéré’s disproportionately influential presidential guard unit.

This could turn very ugly in the next few hours, if the Burkinabé army (which now has several units stationed outside of Ouagadougou) moves to disarm and disband the junta by force.

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