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Burkina Faso Army Said to Be Moving on Capital


Presidential guard soldiers are seen on an armored vehicle at Laico hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Sept. 20, 2015.

Presidential guard soldiers are seen on an armored vehicle at Laico hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Sept. 20, 2015.

Burkina Faso's army says its troops are moving toward the capital, Ouagadougou, with the goal of disarming the presidential guard that seized power in a coup last week.

Military spokesman Captain Herve Ye tells VOA that the army has called on the presidential guard to surrender and move to an army base near Nation's Square, a public gathering place in the capital.

A spokesman for the presidential guard, the RSP, told VOA that a response will be coming soon.

A reporter for VOA in Ouagadougou, Emilie Iob, says the streets of the capital are getting empty as word spreads that the army is coming.

The RSP overthrew Burkina Faso's transitional government last Wednesday, less than a month before elections. Coup leader and RSP chief General Gilbert Diendere said the polls were "biased," because supporters of former president Blaise Compaore were barred from running.

Compaore ruled Burkina Faso for 27 years before being ousted in a popular uprising last year, when he tried to change the constitution to extend his presidency.

West African negotiators announced a plan Sunday to restore civilian authority but offered amnesty to the coup leaders. Under the plan, the elections originally set for October 11 would be held sometime before November 22.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is to hold an emergency summit in Nigeria's capital Tueday to discuss the situation.

Monday, a U.N. spokesman said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is following the situation with great concern, and calls on both the military and presidential guard to exercise restraint and avoid violence.

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