Burundi’s President Urges End to Protest, Coup Leader At Large

first_imgBurundian President Pierre Nkurunziza’s spokesman said he had returned to the capital on Friday after a failed coup but that the general behind it had not been arrested as he had reported earlier, adding to confusion after three days of turmoil.In an address on the small east African country’s state radio, Nkurunziza urged an end to weeks of demonstrations over his quest for a third term in office.“There is peace in the whole country, including in the capital city where the coup-makers were operating,” he said after a day of clashes in which at least a dozen people were killed.“Whoever wants to bring trouble in the country will not go far.”Nkurunziza’s spokesman said earlier that Burundian forces had arrested General Godefroid Niyombare, who had announced the president’s ouster on Wednesday while he was abroad.Niyombare “has not been arrested”, presidential spokesman Gervais Abayeho told Reuters later. He said the source of his earlier statement had corrected the information.Burundi was plunged into deep crisis after Nkurunziza announced he was running for another five-year term, with clashes between police and protesters stirring memories of an ethnically driven civil war that ended just a decade ago.Opponents say his decision violates the constitution and a deal to end the war that pitted rebel groups of the majority Hutu population, including one led by Nkurunziza, against the army which was then commanded by minority Tutsis.The army is now mixed and has absorbed rival factions, but the coup attempt exposed alarming divisions.Troops loyal to Nkurunziza had largely calmed the streets on Friday after frequent gunfire on Thursday.But activists called for more rallies against the president, while some Bujumbura residents said police told them they would be fired upon at if they did demonstrate.last_img read more

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