|Burkina Faso coup leader Gilbert Diendere.|
On Saturday, the authorities in Burkina Faso, froze the assets of General Gilbert Diendere, the leader and master minder of last week’s failed coup in the country.
Prosecutors in the country, said in a statement that they were also freezing the assets of 13 other people involved in the putsch, as well those of four political parties linked to ex-president Blaise Compaore, who was ousted in a popular revolt last year.
The punishment comes just a day after Burkina’s interim cabinet dissolved the elite presidential guard (RSP), which is loyal to Compaore and whose officers detained interim President Michel Kafando and Prime Minister Isaac Zida on September 16.
The unit declared a coup the following day and installed Diendere, Compaore’s former chief of staff, as the new leader.
But Diendere and his men stepped down a week later following mediation brokered by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and under pressure from the regular army. Kafando was re-instated in a ceremony onnWednesday.
Diendere acknowledged midweek that the attempted overthrow had been a ‘mistake’ and did not enjoy popular backing. Zida has said the general will face justice over his actions.
Those targeted by the asset freezes are Diendere’s wife Fatou Diallo Diendere, a former lawmaker in Compaore’s CDP party, and Djibril Bassole, a former foreign minister under Compaore who had already been excluded from running in next month’s polls.
Meanwhile, the process of disarming the RSP has already began, with journalists been shown three trucks full of ammunition on Saturday, that had so far been handed in.
According to an official, the weapons were only a small faction of the RSP’s total arms and it would likely take more than a week for everything to be handed in.