Ouagadougou, September 23

Burkina Faso’s interim leader Michel Kafando was officially restored to power on today, a week after a coup by an elite army unit, as the prime minister warned the general election may be delayed.

Kafando, who has led the landlocked west African country through its transition since a popular uprising last year deposed former president Blaise Compaore, said “his main objective” now was to organise the vote.

Last week, the impoverished nation was thrown into mayhem when the elite presidential guards (RSP) detained Kafando and Prime Minister Isaac Zida, declaring General Gilbert Diendere the new leader.

The coup threw into question not just the fate of a general election that had initially been scheduled for October 11 but of the whole of the post-Compaore transition.

Kafando’s restoration came after days of marathon talks mediated by the Economic Community of West African States, west African regional bloc.

“Since taking office, I haven’t ceased to advocate for dialogue among the forces of the nation and going to the polls is still the main objective,” Kafando said at a ceremony attended by African heads of state in Ouagadougou, the Burkinabe capital.

“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,” he added.

However, Prime Minister Zida said the election may be pushed back.

“As for the vote, there will be a delay of several weeks for technical reasons,” he said.

He added that it was “practically unimaginable” to maintain the unit of the coup ringleaders in its current form.