Burundi: Army General announces coup

A Burundian general yesterday announced that senior officers in the country’s armed forces have “dismissed” President Pierre Nkurunziza over what they call an unconstitutional bid by the former to seek a third term as president.
Maj Gen Godefroid Niyombare has unseated President Pierre Nkurunziza's after weeks of unrest in Burundi
Maj Gen Godefroid Niyombare has unseated President Pierre Nkurunziza's after weeks of unrest in Burundi

A Burundian general yesterday announced that senior officers in the country’s armed forces have “dismissed” President Pierre Nkurunziza over what they call an unconstitutional bid by the former to seek a third term as president.

According to reports, Maj Gen Godefroid Niyombare announced that a national salvation committee had been set up to run the country.

The coup took place when President Nkurunziza was in Tanzania attending the East African Heads of State Summit.

The East African leaders condemned the coup.

Gen Niyombare, in a statement read to reporters in a military base, said he did not recognise the leadership because the president's bid for a third term violated the constitution.

Gen Niyombare's "national salvation committee" comprises at least five other army and police generals.

The unrest began on 26 April and has led to the deaths of more than 20 people.

Over 50,000 Burundians have fled to neighbouring states with Rwanda hosting more than half of them.

By press time, the situation in Burundi was still unstable. 

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