Africa

Burkina Faso coup crisis: Key players

Demonstrators shout slogans next to burning tyres in the Tampouy neighbourhood of Ouagadougou during a protest against a regional proposal to end the crisis in Burkina Faso on September 21, 2015 Image copyright AFP
Image caption There have been several protests against the coup

Burkina Faso's interim government, led by President Michel Kafando, has been re-instated after a brief coup carried out by a group of military guards, the Presidential Security Regiment (RSP).

Mr Kafando has since disbanded the RSP, which had remained loyal to Blaise Compaore, the country's long-time ruler who was ousted in an uprising last year. The RSP had a rocky relationship with the interim government that replaced Mr Compaore.

Below are brief profiles of the key personalities and groups involved in the crisis.


Michel Kafando

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He is the interim president, ousted by the coup and re-instated days later. Mr Kafando was a career diplomat before he became the leader of the transitional government in November 2014.

He served as the country's envoy to the UN between 1981 and 1982, and then foreign minister until 1983. He later served as the UN envoy from 1998 to 2011, when he retired.

The 73-year-old leader was initially detained in the presidential palace, but the junta released him as part of peace negotiations.


Brigadier-General Gilbert Diendere

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During the coup, he proclaimed himself military ruler and head of a junta, the National Council for Democracy (CND). But he later went on to say that he regretted the coup.

Brig-Gen Diendere had been Mr Compaore's right-hand man for more than 30 years. He is the officer who announced the 15 October 1987 coup that brought Mr Compaore to power. He was instrumental in the formation of the RSP in 1995 and acted as its de facto head until Mr Compaore was ousted.

Gen Diendere's wife, Fatoumata Diallo Diendere, was an MP in the forming ruling party, CDP, and therefore currently banned from contesting the forthcoming elections.

Earlier in 2015, there was speculation that he would be appointed head of Burkina Faso's anti-terrorism operations. In February, he attended the US-led counter-terrorism exercises in Chad.


Moumina Cherif Sy

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He is the speaker of the transitional parliament. He opposed the coup and declared himself the new leader during it. Cherif Sy urged his compatriots, in particular the "army chief of staff and the chiefs of staff of the various military regions to immediately take measures to ensure that this act of treachery is stopped".

A journalist by profession, Mr Sy was also considered for the interim presidency after Mr Compaore was forced to resign.

In 1990, Mr Sy founded the Bendre newspaper, which carried hard-hitting editorials and glorified the ideals of the 1983 coup that brought the late charismatic military ruler, Thomas Sankara, to power. Sankara was killed during the October 1987 coup led by Mr Compaore.


Lt-Col Joseph Moussa Celeste Coulibaly

He is the former head of the now-disbanded RSP. He has been in France since August attending the French military academy in Saint Cyr. He is another former aide to Mr Compaore.

Lt-Col Coulibaly accompanied Mr Compaore into exile before returning home to rejoin the RSP. He took over as head of the RSP in February 2015.


Lt-Col Yacouba Isaac Zida

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He is the interim prime minister, briefly ousted by the coup.

Lt-Col Zida had been the deputy commander of the RSP when Mr Compaore was ousted. Immediately afterwards, Lt-Col Zida took over as head of state before being pressed to hand over power to Mr Kafando in November 2014. He was subsequently appointed interim prime minister.

Since then, he has had rocky relations with members of the RSP, who view him as a traitor.

In December 2014, elements of the RSP disrupted a cabinet meeting and demanded guarantees on the non-dissolution of the unit, payment of bonuses and the sacking of Theophile Nikiema, who had been named a military adviser at the presidency. Mr Nikiema is an ally of Lt-Col Zida. The soldiers were unhappy that Mr Nikiema had been picked over other senior RSP officers. A similar protest took place in February.


Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP)

This is Mr Compaore's former ruling party. It was formed in February 1996 and ruled the country until Compaore resigned.

The party is a pale shadow of its former self. It suffered a major setback on 25 August, when the Constitutional Court excluded some of its candidates, including its current leader and presidential flag bearer, Eddie Komboigo, from the polls citing a controversial electoral law.

By the time the ruling was made, the deadline for the submission of the presidential candidatures had passed on 21 August. More than 40 CDP legislative candidates were also disqualified. The judgement effectively locked the party out of the presidential race.

The law, passed by the interim parliament in April, disqualified politicians who supported Mr Compaore's bid to extend his 27-year rule.


Balai Citoyen

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This is a civil society group that was at the centre of the 2014 protests, and its name translates as "Citizen's Broom".

The group was formed in 2013 by two musicians - Karim Sama and Serge Bambara (popularly known by their stage names Sams'K Le Jah and Smockey respectively).

Balai Citoyen actively mobilised civilians to reject Mr Compaore's bid to extend his rule.

The group has called for "popular resistance" in every neighbourhood against the "RSP militia".

Since the 2014 uprising, Balai Citoyen has been vocal in demanding the dismantling of the RSP and other vestiges of the Compaore era.

The movement has sought to propagate the ideals of Thomas Sankara.

Research byBBC Monitoring, which reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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