Burkina Faso’s junta leader resigned on Sunday and left the country. The move comes two days after the country’s military officers ousted him in a coup. In the event of the coup, unrest arose throughout the country, a storm of criticism and condemnation arose in the international arena.

This information was reported by the news agency AFP, citing religious and community leaders.

Religious and community leaders said in a statement that Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba had “offered his own resignation to avoid a conflict with grave human and material consequences”.

The statement added that he resigned and left the country after mediation between Damiba and the self-proclaimed new leader Ibrahim Traori at the initiative of religious and communal leaders.

Damiba, who seized power in January this year, fled to Togo’s capital Lome on Sunday after a second coup in the unstable and impoverished West African nation, regional diplomatic sources said.

Religious and community leaders also said Damiba had given seven conditions for his resignation.

This included guaranteeing his security and that of his allies in the military. It also stipulated that those taking power must honor commitments made to the West African regional bloc to return to civilian rule within two years.

Highly influential religious and community leaders in Burkina Faso said they accepted the terms and ‘invited the people to calm, restraint and pray’.

The chaos began on Friday when junior military officers announced they had ousted Damiba.

Damiba said on Saturday he had no intention of relinquishing power and urged officers to “come to their senses” amid protests.

Trou’s pro-military army said in a statement on Sunday that he would remain in charge indefinitely “until the president of Burkina Faso, designated by the country’s active forces, is sworn in”.

(03 October)