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Burkina cancels arrest warrant for I.Coast parliament speaker

07 June 2016, 09:08

Abidjan -Burkina Faso cancelled an international arrest warrant for Ivory Coast's former prime minister Guillaume Soro on Monday, the latest twist in a saga which has tainted diplomatic relations between the countries for months.

Ouagadougou wanted to bring in Soro, who is currently parliament speaker in neighbouring Ivory Coast, over his alleged role in a short-lived coup in Burkina last year.

But on Monday military prosecutor Commander Alioune Zanre announced that Burkina would be handing over responsibility for the matter to the Ivory Coast.

Zanre said Interpol had refused to assist with the extradition of Soro because the crime was linked to political offences and he may be tried in a military court.

Former Ivorian rebel leader and prime minister Soro was wanted by Burkina after telephone wiretaps allegedly revealed he supported a putsch there last September.

The attempted coup was staged by troops from a presidential guard loyal to former Burkinabe president Blaise Compaore but was thwarted by street protesters and the army, which attacked the plotters' barracks.

At least 11 people were killed and more than 270 were injured in the demonstrations.

Relations between the countries came under pressure when Compaore -- a key ally of Ivory Coast president Alassane Ouattara -- fled to Abidjan after a popular uprising in 2014 and was given Ivorian nationality.

Burkinabe authorities issued a warrant for his arrest in December 2015 for his alleged role in the mysterious 1987 killing of his comrade, ex-president Thomas Sankara.

They then cancelled but later reinstated the warrant.



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