Troops loyal to Burkina Faso’s government have threatened to attack coup leaders if they do not surrender, media reports said Tuesday. The ultimatum reportedly comes the day the West African country’s interim Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida, who had been captured during last week's coup, was released.
Troops entered the capital Ouagadougou Tuesday as a deadline given to Gen. Gilbert Diendere to surrender passed, and were preparing to attack the Camp Naaba military base near the capital's presidential palace, BBC reported.
Diendere -- who staged a coup last week after opposing plans to integrate the presidential guard into the army -- said at a press conference Tuesday that he would step aside once regional leaders, holding a summit in Abuja, Nigeria, endorse a peace plan, including an amnesty for coup plotters.
"I'm not stalling for time. I'm within the time allotted to me," Diendere told a news conference, according to Reuters, adding that he was awaiting the outcome of the Economic Community of West African States summit.
The coup, which triggered protests and unrest in Burkina Faso, has been widely condemned, with the African Union suspending the country's membership.
France's Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Gilles Thibault, tweeted that interim President Michel Kafando, who was arrested last Wednesday, has been released and is now at the ambassador's residence.
The political turmoil in Burkina Faso came shortly before a planned October presidential election that many believed would help strengthen democracy in the country. The junta, calling themselves the National Democratic Council, declared Diendere their leader and announced an end “to the deviant regime of transition” during a state television broadcast Thursday.
Diendere reportedly said Sunday he will do everything to “avoid violence that could plunge the country into chaos.”