Burundi returns to calm after failed coup

Burundi returns to calm after failed coup

An attempted coup in Burundi appears to have fizzled out after the office of president Pierre Nkurunziza announced he was back in the country and the streets were mostly calm.

Along a major route in the south of the country, there were many police checkpoints but otherwise life was going on as normal.

Fighting erupted yesterday between loyalist troops and forces supporting Major General Godefroid Niyombare, who announced the coup bid on Wednesday while Mr Nkurunziza was in Tanzania for a meeting with regional leaders.

His bid for a third term had triggered protests, with opponents saying it violated the constitution as well as peace accords that ended a civil war. At least 15 people were killed in the demonstrations that began on April 26, a day after the ruling party made Mr Nkurunziza its presidential candidate.

Burundi's presidency announced last night that Mr Nkurunziza had returned to Burundi. He has not appeared in public.

The announcement also saluted the police, who had tried to quell the demonstrations, for their patriotism.

Still, the US urged its citizens to leave the country and advised against travelling to Burundi. The US Embassy in Bujumbura said it was closed amid the insecurity.

Burundi's constitution says a president can be popularly elected to two five-year terms. Mr Nkurunziza maintains he is eligible for a third because parliament elected him to his first term, leaving him open to be popularly elected to two terms.

Burundi erupted into civil war in 1993 after the assassination of the country's first ethnic Hutu president, Melchior Ndadaye. That conflict, which split open long-standing ethnic tensions between the Hutu and the Tutsi people, lasted until 2005.

Mr Nkurunziza, a Hutu, took over as president and embarked on a campaign of ethnic reconciliation and economic rehabilitation.

More in this Section

Police fire tear gas at protesters in BeirutPolice fire tear gas at protesters in Beirut

Iran to send black box flight recorders from downed jet to UkraineIran to send black box flight recorders from downed jet to Ukraine

Harry Dunn: UK police chief demands urgent meeting with US base commanderHarry Dunn: UK police chief demands urgent meeting with US base commander

Sadiq Khan: Nothing keeps me up at night more than knife crimeSadiq Khan: Nothing keeps me up at night more than knife crime


Lifestyle

The actor knows how to impress when it comes to high profile events.6 times Katie Holmes wowed on the red carpet

Glamour, fun and feathers all feature in this year’s hottest looks – but first and foremost, individual style rules.10 on-trend ways to transform your home in 2020

Abi Jackson shares the enduring appeal of Pooh Bear’s wisdom on Winnie-the-Pooh Day – author A.A. Milne’s birthday.Winnie-the-Pooh Day: The wellbeing lessons we can learn from Pooh Bear

We asked three experts for the low-down on shampooing frequency.How often should you really wash your hair?

More From The Irish Examiner