Burundi general declares coup against President Nkurunziza

BUJUMBURA - A Burundi army general says senior officers are "dismissing" President Pierre Nkurunziza, amid unrest over his bid to be re-elected for a third term.

Maj Gen Godefroid Niyombareh announced that a national salvation committee had been set up to run the country.

However, it is not clear how much support he and the other officers have.

President Nkurunziza is currently in Tanzania meeting other East African leaders to discuss the crisis. His aide dismissed the coup claims as "a joke".

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Gen Niyombareh, 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.

Soldiers surrounded the offices of the national broadcaster in the capital, Bujumbura.

In a radio broadcast, Gen Niyombareh said: "The masses have decided to take into their own hands the destiny of the nation to remedy this unconstitutional environment into which Burundi has been plunged.

"The masses vigorously and tenaciously reject President Nkurunziza's third-term mandate... President Pierre Nkurunziza has been relieved of his duties. The government is overthrown."

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

He said in the radio broadcast that the mission of the body was the "restoration of national unity... and the resumption of the electoral process in a peaceful and fair environment".

One witness told Reuters that crowds who had earlier been out on the streets of the capital protesting against the president were now cheering and celebrating his apparent dismissal.

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

President Nkurunziza has rejected calls to postpone next month's election.

Tens of thousands of Burundians have fled to neighbouring states in recent weeks.

Comments (8)

Despots must be nipped in the bud! Stopping these callous, self-serving sons of anarchy who are custodians of corruption and misrule that leads to the suffering and disenfranchisement of hapless masses is commendable and a pliant prescription for young African democracies like ours, that have fallen prey to the same abominable breed of gun totting charlatans. Look at North Korea's rabid Kim Jong-un who has turned the hatchet on his own inner circle sycophants who aided him in unleashing the same atrocities and terror on the masses. Fore warned is fore armed . Despots have no friends or relatives. EVERY tom, dick and harry is disposable at the right time and for right price. ndanyarara zvangu.

Dzumbwi Dzumbwi - 13 May 2015

I never used to condone military intervention ,however there are exceptions... looking at Zimbabwe today where peoplehave been turned from have nots ..into never ever will have ..such intervention would have my blessings.Unpopular and unwanted rulers who abuse The State for their own personal gain have no place in the corridors of national responsibility. The people began the struggle in Burundi this indeed shows they are smart ,they maynot be well educated but they are smart for they know when enough is enough..the same cannot be said of the poor people of Zimbabwe who shout high and loud about being educated and yet are not smart enough to realise that the powerand responsibility of change lies in their hands. Yes i will say it Zimbabweans you are not smart ,it is no secret that you voted for Mugabe at the promise of 2 million jobs, it is not a secret thta many of you have t-shirts and caps ane chi face cha Mugabe,it is no secret that you pay up ukanzi imari yemusangano...my people you are not smart ..until the day you say no i will not have any respect for you at all..ukanzi musangano ko kuramba kuti maya handidi..be the change it starts with you!..best wishes to the people of Burundi :-)

Mazana Mambombo - 13 May 2015

Professional soldiers would do exactly what Burudians soldiers have done .They protected people not a political party . i Salute them i wonder our stupid so called soldiers have learnt some thing from Burundi, Well zimbabweans are not educated as one would be misled and they are the most docile in the continent serving to run away from a 91 year partially blind granny and hide themselves in SA that is what they are educated in .

Diibulaanyika - 13 May 2015

Much better from burundi military and i wish our military to do the same but it seems they are spineless. Nkurunziza wants to be a dictator, why run for a third term when clearly it is unconstitutional and an unnecessary headache. In the midst of all this there is certain AU and SADC chair who hasnt condemned nkurunziza's unlwaful actions but then again how will a dictator tell another president not to be one...am sure somewhere bob is goin' ''ahh third term chete.!."

obama4ever - 14 May 2015

Much better from burundi military and i wish our military to do the same but it seems they are spineless. Nkurunziza wants to be a dictator, why run for a third term when clearly it is unconstitutional and an unnecessary headache. In the midst of all this there is certain AU and SADC chair who hasnt condemned nkurunziza's unlwaful actions but then again how will a dictator tell another president not to be one...am sure somewhere bob is goin' ''ahh third term chete.!."

obama4ever - 14 May 2015

East African Community (EAC) unlike our Sadc buffoons have just sorted the Burundi debacle in one masterstroke. Invite the bastard to a summit and let his army take over. Now he goes airborne for 10minutes goes back to land in Dar. No place to go, airport in Burundi is now off-limits

nyimo - 14 May 2015

very wise move by the (EAC) and the Burundi general.Unfortunately in Zimbabwe l don't see those guys like Chiwenga, Shiri and Chihuri rising against Mugabe,but the military and police at large have to rebel against their biased,corrupt and undemocratic generals who are enjoying life with their families while the majority of zimbos are suffering including members of the military and police.you see them vakagara pakadoma in a kombi just to save a $1,is that appropriate?Burundi general has set a good examples for our security forces.BE WISE AND OPEN YOUR EYES ZRP AND THE ARMY

reply - 14 May 2015

Well done Burundians and hats off to the General of Burundi for being professionals , East African Community (EAC) you should advise SADC how it is done telling the wrong leaders the truth , then you will be creating a good and democratic society

Mudhara - 14 May 2015

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