It is currently reported that a coup d’ etat has occurred in Burundi, resulting in the overthrow of President Pierre Nkurunziza in his absence.
The announcement was made by a top military personnel in the country amid escalating tensions which has been ungoing in the African state for over two weeks.
There have been general unrest in the country because of the insistence of President Nkurunziza to contest for another term in office, despite staying for the constitutionally allowed two terms. His insistence to run for a third term which was upheld by the Supreme Court – who argued that because he was appointed to his first term, he has only run for president once, and is thus eligible to run again, a verdict that has caused violent protests in the streets of Burundi.
It should be noted that, Nkurunziza’s party, CNDD-FDD, on April 25, nominated him for a third term as president in the country’s elections, scheduled for June.
However, the announcement of a coup, which was made during a radio broadcast by Major General Godefroid Niyombare hours ago, came while the president was on an official visit to neighboring Tanzania for talks to end the crisis. Nkurunziza has joined other East African Community leaders from Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda in the Tanzanian city of Dar es Salaam for a special meeting to discuss the turmoil.
Niyombare, who had been sacked from his position as the country’s powerful chief of intelligence in February, said top officers were “dismissing” Nkurunziza and that a national salvation committee had been set up to run the country.
Army troops have currently surrounded the national radio station, which shows that a coup is already underway and the protesters have changed their war chants to songs of victory upon the announcement. It is yet to be seen if the military will preside over a transition to civil rule or not.
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