Burkina Faso’s ousted coup leader Lt. Col. Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba left the country for Togo Sunday after he was overthrown in a coup.
Soldiers had confirmed a fresh coup in crisis-ridden Burkina Faso.
Armed men who wore masks appeared on television on Friday night to confirm the ouster of President Paul-Henri Damiba.
This is the second coup in the West African country this year.
The announcement was made hours after a report of gunfire in the capital Ouagadougou, an explosion near the presidential palace, and interruptions to state television programming.
However, two diplomats who spoke to The Associated Press on Monday confirmed Damiba’s departure, but it was not known whether Togo was his final destination.
Reuters reports that the religious leaders who had on Sunday, mediated between the factions said that Damiba had offered his resignation as long as his security and other conditions were met.
A junta representative later announced on state television that their leader, Capt. Ibrahim Traore, officially has been named head of state following Friday’s coup that ousted Damiba.
Along with agreeing not to harm or prosecute him, Damiba also asked Traore and the new junta leadership to respect the commitments already made to the West African regional bloc ECOWAS. Damiba, who came to power in a coup last January, had recently reached an agreement to hold an election by 2024.
In a statement late Sunday, ECOWAS said it would be sending a team of mediators to Ouagadougou on Monday including former Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou.
The ECOWAS statement, signed by Guinea-Bissau President Umaro Sissoco Embalo, noted that Damiba had resigned “in order to avoid a violent confrontation and possible bloodshed.”
According to the report, earlier in the day, the new junta leadership called for an end to the unrest that engulfed Ouagadouou in the wake of Friday night’s coup.
In a statement broadcast on state television, junta representative Capt. Kiswendsida Farouk Azaria Sorgho called on people to “desist from any act of violence and vandalism” especially those against the French Embassy or the French military base.
Anti-French sentiment rose sharply after the new junta alleged that interim president Damiba was sheltering at a French military base following his ouster. France vehemently denied the allegation, but soon protesters with torches thronged the perimeter of the French Embassy in Ouagadougou.