Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 1st 2015 Contents A30
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BURKINA FASO---The military general who led the
short-lived coup in Burkina Faso has sought refuge
at the Vatican Embassy, a day after the army opened
fire on his supporters in the presidential guard to
force them to disarm, a person who works closely
with the clergy said yesterday.
Gen Gilbert Diendere is sheltering at the Vatican
Apostolic Nunciature in Burkina Faso's capital, accord-
ing to the person close to the Catholic clergy.
Negotiations are under way for Diendere to give
himself up, the government said in a communique.
Diendere said he is willing to surrender to author-
"I am willing to turn myself over to face justice,"
he said. "I would like the people of Burkina Faso to
find a solution to this crisis through dialogue. All
parties must talk to find an inclusive solution for the
future of the country."
Diendere on Tuesday called on his followers in the
elite presidential guard to put down their arms.
The presidential guard arrested interim President
Michel Kafando and interim Prime Minister Yacouba
Isaac Zida on September 16. Diendere later took
power, but stepped down after pressure from the
West African regional bloc, Burkina Faso's military
and demonstrating citizens. The transitional gov-
ernment was reinstalled September 23.
Under a peace deal, the presidential guard was
supposed to disarm but they refused. On Tuesday
the army used force to take over all the places occupied
by the presidential guard. (AP)
coup leader in
ANTANANARIVO---The discovery by Madagascar s
customs officials of more than 700 rare tortoises
about to be smuggled out of the country is the largest
ever case of its kind, an organisation devoted to pro-
tecting the animals said yesterday.
"There's lots of smuggling going on, and 550 was
the previous record, so this is the biggest case we've
ever seen," said Herilala Randriamahazo of the Turtle
Survival Alliance, which is now looking after the tor-
The 771 critically endangered tortoises were found
on Monday in unaccompanied freight due to be flown
to Malaysia, he said. The land tortoises were hidden
in socks and baby diapers and then covered with
clothing, he said.
Most of the tortoises were small---about the size of
a tennis ball---and most were just a few years old, said
Almost all the tortoises were Radiated Tortoises
which are known for their beautiful carapaces in which
each section of the shell has a pattern of yellow lines
radiating from the centre. There were also a few
Ploughshare Tortoises which are even more rare, he
Both species are critically endangered, according
to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The smuggling of tortoises out of Madagascar is
growing, according to the Turtle Survival Alliance.
Randriamahazo said that the animals found Monday
were likely to be smuggled to become either pets or
raised to be eaten. (AP)
Agents foil smuggling of
more than 700 turtles
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