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Ex-presidential security chief returns from exile

Burkina Faso’s former presidential security chief returned to Ouagadougou on Saturday from Dakar, Senegal, after spending five years in exile, a top governmental source told IRIN.

Hyacinthe Kafando, a warrant officer, disappeared after fleeing to Cote d’Ivoire in October 1996. He had been accused of plotting to overthrow President Blaise Compaore. Nineteen presidential guards believed to be close to Kafando were arrested in connection with the alleged coup plot. One of them was shot dead while being transferred to another barracks.
The source said Kafando’s return was linked to a national day of pardon celebrated two weeks ago to defuse political tension in the country.

News that Kafando had been plotting against Compaore had caused a stir in Burkina Faso since he had been considered one of the president’s most loyal supporters. He had become presidential security chief after the bloody coup that brought Compaore to power in 1987.

Presidential guards are among state officials accused by human rights groups of perpetrating torture and other crimes. Compaore apologised to the nation during National Pardon Day.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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