Burkina army says most of coup regiment have rejoined its ranks

Burkina Faso has a history of coups and mutinies (AFP Photo/SIA KAMBOU) (AFP/File)

Ouagadougou (AFP) - A majority of troops from the elite Burkina Faso army regiment behind a failed coup have joined loyalist units after it was disbanded, a senior army source told AFP Thursday.

"Over 800 men" out of the 1,300 in the powerful Presidential Security Regiment (RSP) that staged the September 17 coup, have taken up new postings, a source in the army high command said.

The regiment, which was loyal to deposed president Blaise Compaore, was dissolved last week and all its members assigned to other units.

More than 600 of the soldiers reported for duty at one barracks on the outskirts of the capital Ouagadougou, the source added.

Those who have yet to join loyalist forces have until Friday to show up at their new postings, failing which "they will be considered deserters", the source said, adding some "diehards and leaders" were still being sought by the authorities.

Army chief of staff General Pingrenoma Zagre said "many" of the putschists had left their barracks before the army stormed their camp on Tuesday to end a nearly two-week-long standoff.

No one was injured in the assault, interim president Michel Kafando said during a visit Wednesday to the barracks in the capital's Ouaga 2000 district.

At least 10 people were killed and more than 100 injured in protests triggered by the coup, which came just weeks before the first elections scheduled to be held since Compaore's 2014 ouster after 27 years of iron-fisted rule.

The first round of voting was to have taken place on October 11, although officials have said there will be a delay of several weeks due to the crisis.