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Burkina's ousted leader finds refuge in Togo, ECOWAS mediators due in Ouagadougou

Ousted junta leader Col Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba appears on a video published on his Facebook page on October 3rd.   -  
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Cleared @Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba -

Burkina Faso

Three days after Burkina Faso’s president of the transition was deposed and violent demonstrations erupted, calm was back in Ougaodugou Monday.

Togolese authorities confirmed that ousted leader Damiba found refuge in Lomé. In a video posted on Facebook, the col. detailed why he left power.

"In full awareness and responsibility, I abdicate my role as head of state, as transitional president, following a dialogue with the customary and religious authorities, with Captain Ibrahim Traoré and with the current president of ECOWAS", Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba said.

"May God bless Burkina Faso and guard it from chaos", he added.

Coup leader capt. Ibrahim Traoré vowed to keep the 24-month transition timatable agreed on by his predecessor and West African leaders. Mediators from the Ecowas block are expected to head to Ouagadougou Tuesday. Burkina's new strongman advocated a different work method, demanding a faster pace when meeting with cabinet officals.

"I can't even single out a point, one point where it is necessary to be fast [...] In Burkina, everything is urgent", Traoré insisted.

Burkina Faso's last democratically elected president was overthrown in January amid frustration that his government had not been able to stop extremist attacks. But the jihadi violence, which has killed thousands and forced 2 million to flee their homes continued, and attacks increased since mid-March.

It remains to be seen whether Traore and his forces can turn around the crisis as condemnations of the new coup mount.

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