Burkina Faso’s army has reached the capital Ouagadougou to seek the surrender of the presidential guard who staged a coup last Thursday.
Negotiations between army chiefs and the presidential guard are under way, security sources said.
Coup leader Gen Gilbert Diendere told the BBC he is ready to hand back power, but only once a plan to end the crisis was backed by regional leaders.
The presidential guard is loyal to ousted President Blaise Compaore.
They arrested interim President Michel Kafando last Wednesday, installing Gen Diendere as new leader the following day.
Since then at least 10 people have been killed and more than 100 injured in clashes.
France’s ambassador to Burkina Faso, Gilles Thibault, tweeted that Mr Kafando has been released from house arrest and was now at the ambassador’s residence.
Burkina Faso’s army ordered the presidential guard to disarm before it marched on the capital.
“We must now secure the surrender of the (coup leaders) without gunfire or bloodshed,” Colonel Serge Alain Ouedraogo, of the Burkinabe police, told AFP.
Speaking to the BBC from a secret location, Gen Diendere said: “Ready to surrender? We are not there yet… We wish to continue the discussions and we say to all that we are ready to implement Ecowas’ (West African regional group’s) decisions.”
He also apologised to the population, saying an apology was “the least we could do”.
Ecowas is due to meet again in Nigeria later on Tuesday. Their plan includes the return to civilian government, an amnesty for the soldiers behind the coup and elections by the end of November.
But on the streets there was resentment at the proposals, in particular the amnesty.
“We have no need of Ecowas here, nor the international community,” said one man protesting against the coup.
Gen Diendere, who was the chief of staff to Blaise Compaore, led the coup a month before elections had been due in the landlocked country.
International pressure has been building, with former colonial power France warning of “consequences” if coup leaders did not lay down their weapons.