Burkina Faso : timeline

2 minApproximate reading time

Here are the main developments since last week's coup in the west African country of Burkina Faso brought to power Gilbert Diendere, an aide to ousted president Blaise Compaore.

Compaore was toppled in October 2014 and fled into exile in Ivory Coast following a popular uprising triggered by an attempt to extend his 27-year rule.

A transitional government was charged with running the poverty-stricken country prior to presidential and legislative elections initially scheduled for October 11.


- Thursday, September 17 - 


General Gilbert Diendere takes over as head of a new National Democratic Council a day after members of Compaore's powerful Presidential Security Regiment (RSP) burst into a cabinet meeting and took interim President Michel Kafando and Prime Minister Isaac Zida hostage.

A nationwide curfew is declared, and land and air borders closed until further notice.

A joint statement by the United Nations, the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had already demanded "the immediate and unconditional release of the hostages". Former colonial ruler France echoes their demand.

Diendere accuses Kafando and Zida of violating a post-Compaore transition agreement by barring his supporters from running for election. Diendere says the elections will be organised "soon" and that he has had no contact with Compaore.

Street protests erupt outside the presidential palace where the interim leaders are being held, with RSP officers firing shots to disperse demonstrators. Doctors at the main Ouagadougou hospital say three people died from bullet wounds and at least 60 were injured. Protests spread to the country's second city Bobo Dioulasso in the west and Fada-Ngourma in the east.

The UN Security Council threatens sanctions against the putsch leaders unless they relinquish power. 

France, which has 220 elite soldiers in Ouagadougou as part of an anti-jihadist programme, says it will not intervene.


- Friday, September 18 -


Ouagadougou is calm after a first night of curfew. Many shops remain closed. Security forces fire in the air to prevent protestors reaching a central square.

Kafando and Zida remain under house arrest, but land and air borders are reopened.

Diendere meets with Senegal President Macky Sall, who currently heads ECOWAS, and his Benin counterpart Thomas Boni Yayi.

The African Union announces it is suspending Burkina Faso.


- Saturday, September 19 -


A hospital source says at least 10 people have died with 113 injured since the putsch began. A union source speaks of around 20 deaths.

Tension persists in the capital, where the home of two former Compaore aides are attacked. Opponents of Diendere's takeover throw up roadblocks.

Sall and Yayi meet with Diendere, opposition figures, union leaders and senior army officers.


- Sunday, September 20 -


Dozens of coup supporters storm the hotel where ECOWAS mediators are staying.

The mediators propose Kafando returns as interim president, along with an amnesty for the putschists. They suggest general elections be held by November 22, with participation by pro-Compaore candidates. 

A law that enshrines the deal is to be voted by September 30.

Civil society groups that helped topple Compaore, in particular the "Balai Citoyen" (Civic Broom) movement, brand the deal "shameful".


- Monday, September 21 -


Burkina Faso's army chiefs urge coup soldiers to lay down their arms.

Tuesday's emergency African Union summit in Abuja will examine the Sall-Yayi plan.