Burkina Faso\’s interim President Michel Kafando officially resumed power Wednesday after a week-long coup by renegade troops, who bowed to pressure from regional powers and former colonial ruler France.
The move came after marathon talks brokered by the ECOWAS west African regional bloc, and fears for the transition from 27 years of iron-fisted rule by ousted president Blaise Compaore.
Kafando, who has led the landlocked west African country since last year\’s anti-Compaore popular uprising, said his "main objective" now was to organise a vote.
But that election faces a delay after restored Prime Minister Isaac Zida indicated it would have to be put back "several weeks", citing technical reasons.
The putsch by Compaore loyalist troops came ahead of an election planned for October 11, with at least 10 people killed and more than 100 injured in the resulting unrest.
Zida said the elite presidential guard RSP who staged the coup would now have to be reconstituted as it was "practically unimaginable" to retain the body in its current form.
Kafando told a ceremony attended by African heads of state in the capital Ouagadougou he was open to dialogue on all sides and that "going to the polls is still the main objective."
"We remain determined to pursue the sacred mission that the people of Burkina Faso have given us: to put in place credible, trustworthy institutions for a new Burkina that we have decided to build, in true democracy and justice," the restored leader said.
Kafando added that the widespread international condemnation of the coup "comforts us in our certainty that we are on the right road and that our cause is just."
Those attending Wednesday\’s ceremony included Benin President Thomas Boni Yayi, Ghana President John Dramani Mahama, Niger counterpart Mahamadou Issoufou and Nigerian vice-president Yemi Osinbajo.
In all, six ECOWAS heads of state travelled to Ouagadougou to oversee Kafando\’s formal re-installation and to try to resolve two contentious issues: an amnesty plan for the putschists and whether upcoming elections should be open to supporters of previously deposed veteran dictator Blaise Compaore.
Kafando said regional leaders would "take into account the will of the Burkinabe people" in their new mediation bid.