Tensions Run High In Burkina Faso As Coup Hits Dangerous Stalemate

General Gilbert Diendere, coup leader in Burkina Faso, recently defied a mandate to step down from power and Diendere says that his forces have been instructed to retaliate if they are attacked.

The army of Burkina Faso threatened Diendere and his forces with a deadline to relinquish his position. That deadline has since passed, meaning that Diendere is subject to an assault from the military of the country.

Meanwhile the army has mandated that anti-coup protesters return home, in fear that violence would break out.

General Diendere seized power, having the support from the presidential guard. However, the Burkina Faso military has remained loyal to the threatened government. Troops have stormed the capital, trying to reclaim it.

The European Union (EU) has demanded that Diendere and the presidential guard lay down their weapons to prevent any major violence from occurring.

Leaders in the region are conducting crisis talks in Nigeria to determine a peace plan for Burkina Faso, which is a former French colony.

So far, at least ten people have been killed, while more than 100 have been injured in fights between the presidential guard and protesters. There is growing fear that fighting will soon take place between the army and the presidential guard.

General Diendere stated at a press conference that he does not want to resort to violence, but he is not afraid to defend himself if he is attacked. One army officer recently said that talks with Diendere had fallen apart.

“He wants a fight,” said the anonymous officer.

However, General Diendere claims that he will step down after regional leaders endorse the peace plan at their upcoming summit. Diendere released the interim president and the prime minister after speaking with mediators.

French ambassador to Burkina Faso, Gilles Thibault, said in a tweet that the interim president, Michael Kafando, was now at his residence.

General Diendere appears to be backed into a corner from heavy international and domestic pressure. When it was appeared that he was defeated on Monday after the mandate for him to step down, thousands of people gathered to celebrate.

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