United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has strongly condemned any attempt to seize power by force of arms in Burkina Faso and called on all actors to refrain from violence and seek dialogue.
Damiba had himself led an earlier military coup in January against a civilian government that had lost support over the rising tide of extremists in the country.
The Secretary General’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric says , “He called on all actors to refrain from violence and to seek dialog. The Secretary-General expressed his full support for regional efforts towards a swift return to continual constitutional order in the country, and reiterated that Burkina Faso needs peace, stability and unity to fight terrorist groups and criminal networks operating in the country. Our colleagues on the ground are working to ensure the critical aid operations are continuing without interruption during this period of unrest. Areas where the needs are the greatest will continue to be prioritized. Humanitarian actors are calling on all parties, including national authorities, to respect humanitarian space and principles and to allow for unimpeded access of humanitarian workers to all those in need.”
Deal to resign conditions
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 on Sunday.
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.
Splits have emerged within the army, with many soldiers appearing to seek Russian support as the influence of former colonial power France wanes.
At least three separate videos shared on online on Saturday and Sunday showed soldiers atop armoured personnel carriers, waving Russian flags, while the crowd around chanted “Russia! Russia!”. Reuters has not verified the videos.
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 on 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 on Sunday after sporadic gunfire across the capital throughout Saturday between opposing army factions. – Additional reporting by Reuters