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Burkina Faso General, ex-minister formally charged over failed coup

(R-L): Nigeria's Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo with General Gilbert Diendere during an ECOWAS mediation meeting with the coup leader
(R-L): Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo with General Gilbert Diendere during an ECOWAS mediation meeting with the coup leader

The General in charge of the failed coup in Burkina Faso last month has been formally charged, along with one other top official accused of supporting the overthrow of Burkina Faso’s government.

General Gilbert Diendere and Djibrill Bassole, a former foreign minister, were charged Tuesday with “attacking state security.”

During the failed coup, Diendere’s forces in the elite presidential guard detained the interim president, prime minister and several Cabinet members. The guard was unhappy the interim government barred supporters of former president Blaise Compaore from running in upcoming elections.

Compaore was ousted in a popular uprising in October of last year as he tried to extend his 27 years in office.

General Diendere held power for nearly a week but was forced to step down under pressure from the army, demonstrators and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Diendere gave himself up last week following negotiations with officials in the capital, Ouagadougou.

Bassole, who served as foreign minister under Compaore, has denied any connection with the coup.

Both men were remanded in custody.

Burkina Faso was planning to hold presidential and parliamentary elections on October 11.  It remains unclear when that vote will take place.

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