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Video: Burkina Faso mediators meet detained interim leader

FRANCE 24 screen grab

African mediators on Saturday met with interim President Michel Kafando, who remains under house arrest following Wednesday’s coup in Burkina Faso. FRANCE 24’s Arnaud Froger was part of a media delegation that caught a glimpse of the abducted leader.

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Senegalese President Macky Sall and Benin President Thomas Boni Yayi met with Kafando for around one hour as they tried to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the political crisis that has gripped the African nation for the past four days.

“We now have confirmation that former interim President Michel Kafando is living in his former presidential residence,” FRANCE 24’s Froger said via telephone from the capital of Ouagadougou. “It is very close to the president’s office itself.”

“The military regime really wants to prove to the media that they can go everywhere, but they are really keeping Michel Kafando close to them so he cannot go and speak as he pleases," the journalist said.

“We only saw him for a few minutes. He didn’t say anything and looked very concerned and tired. There were no smiles to speak of on his face, even in the presence of African presidents and the media,” Froger added.

Boni Yayi and Sall, who is also the chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), earlier met opposition leaders and members of civil society groups in Burkina Faso.

The Senegalese president’s office said in a statement on Saturday that talks with General Gilbert Diendere, the coup’s leader, were aimed at returning Kafando to power ahead of elections scheduled for October 11.

At least 10 people have been killed and 113 injured in clashes since the military coup on Wednesday, a hospital source said Saturday.

Trade unions said in a statement on Saturday that “around 20 have been killed by bullets”.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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