Burundi’s president calls for protesters to calm on return

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza calls for citizens to lower tension on his return from Tanzania visit

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza returned to the country on Friday and called for people to calm down after weeks of demonstrations over his bid for a third term.

While the president was performing his Tanzania visit, military generals attempted a coup which subsequently failed.

Three coup leaders were detained except for the main leader who was behind the coup attempt, managed to run, presidential spokesman Gervais Abayeho told a news agency.

General Godefroid Niyombare, who had announced the president's deposal, is among busted.

They are waiting for the day to be charged with insurrection in a military court .

In an address to the nation, President Nkurunziza urged citizens to end weeks of demonstrations.   

"There is peace in the whole country, including in the capital city where the coup-makers were operating," he said after coup attempts and deadly demonstrations which happened in his absence.

"Whoever wants to bring trouble in the country will not go far," he added.

Loyal army of Nkurunziza succeed to calm streets on Thursday but demonstrators’ call for more protests continue despite police’s warnings to shoot who would attempt to protest.

"Protests to reject the third term bid for Nkurunziza will continue," said Gordien Niyungeko, deputy head of civil society group, Focode.

Protest in which demonstrators were throwing stones to the security forces were interfered with tear gas, did not ease down, continued everyday until the coup attempt.

Hundreds of thousands of people have fled to neighbouring countries, according to the UN.

Stern police intervention were criticised by Western donors, who have urged the president not to go for the third term. The United States which provides the army equipments and training called to end "violent force" by police.

The US embassy was also closed on Friday, leaving some of staff and it is not known when it will reopen, an embassy spokeswoman said.   

TRTWorld and agencies