Talks start for surrender of Burkina coup leader - government

Burkina Faso's government said it had started negotiations to persuade the leader of a coup to surrender.

Vehicles run in a street of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, on 21 September, 2015. Picture: AFP.

OUAGADOUGOU - Burkina Faso's government said on Wednesday it had started negotiations to persuade the leader of a short-lived coup to surrender, a day after he took refuge in the Vatican's compound in the capital.

General Gilbert Diendere fled just before government troops raided barracks held by his forces in Ouagadougou, wiping out the last vestiges of his bid to take over the West African nation.

"Negotiations are under way for his surrender to the authorities," the government said on state television.

Security forces were also still searching the barracks, it added.

Diendere's forces - members of an elite presidential guard unit - raided a cabinet meeting on Sept. 16 and detained interim President Michel Kafando, the prime minister and several cabinet members.

Thousands of people took to the streets of the capital and other cities demanding an end to the rebellion which was condemned by regional and world powers. Troops loyal to the government moved in and ended the coup a week later.

The uprising disrupted a delicate political transition.

Kafando had stepped in as an interim leader after the last president, Blaise Compaore, was driven from power last year nad the country was less than a month away from Oct. 11 elections meant to restore democracy.

Diendere was one of Compaore's key supporters.