United Nations – Taking the podium at the United Nations just weeks after a failed coup, Burkina Faso’s president expressed gratitude Friday for international support and promised elections.
Michel Kafando and members of his interim government were jailed by the coup leaders who came under heavy pressure from abroad to release them and restore the transitional authorities to power.
“Dear friends of the international community, it’s thanks to you… that I can speak freely before you,” Kafando said in his address to the UN General Assembly.
“It would have been unthinkable just two weeks ago, when I was sitting in the jail during the military sedition.”
General Gilbert Diendere, the leader of the short-lived September 17 coup, turned himself in on Thursday after seeking refuge at the Vatican ambassador’s residence in Ouagadougou.
“The people of Burkina Faso have asked me to convey to you our deepest gratitude,” Kafando said.
The president urged world governments to continue to support Burkina Faso on the path to democracy and said “free and transparent elections will be organized soon.”
Elections were initially set for October 11 but are now more likely to take place in December, completing the transition to democratic rule after the October 2014 uprising against President Blaise Compaore’s rule.
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