Burundi’s president returns from Tanzania

Burundi Presidency says President Pierre Nkurunziza returns from Tanzania after failed coup attempt

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Burundi’s Presidential office announced on Thursday that President Pierre Nkurunziza has returned country from Tanzania after an attempted coup to overthrow him.

Burundi's former intelligence chief announced on Wednesday Nkurunziza had been “dismissed” following two weeks of violent crackdowns on protests across the country.

Burundi's armed forces chief General Prime Niyongabo said early on Thursday the attempted coup had failed and soldiers loyal to Nkurunziza were in control.

He also said heavy gunfire in the capital was not yet over.

President Nkurunziza was in Tanzania for a meeting with African leaders when Major General Godefroid Niyombare, who Nkurunziza fired from his post as intelligence chief in February, had attempted to topple him.

"President Nkurunziza is back in Burundi after the attempted coup,” said the presidency in a message.

“He congratulates the army, the police and the Burundian people.”

During a radio programme, Burundi's armed forces chief General Prime Niyongabo said early on Thursday that the attempted coup against the President Nkurunziza  had failed.

He also said the presidency and presidential palace were secured by the president's backers and that they were under control.

Burundi  had been hit by protests against Nkurunziza's running for a third term as Burundi's constitution stipulates that a president can only serve for two terms.

However, Nkurunziza's supporters said he could run again because he was selected for his first term by lawmakers and not through elections.

Many people died during the clashes, with one man being burned alive during a massive demonstration in Bujumbura on May 7. Protesters claim the man had opened fire at them during past marches against Nkurunziza.


TRTWorld and agencies