Burundi Presidency has finally spoken out claiming there “is no military” coup in the country just after a top army General, Godefroid Niyombare, announced the overthrow of President Pierre Nkurunziza, on a national radio.
Niyombare, a former intelligence chief, said he had dismissed Nkurunziza who is now in the neighbouring Tanzania for talks with regional leaders, as President of Burundi.
He led the army to take over the national broadcasters in the capital Bujumbura where he addressed the nation.
“President Pierre Nkurunziza is removed from office, the government is dissolved,” General Niyombare said.
He declared himself interim President promising to work towards democracy and restoration of national unity.
Presidency denies coup
Burundi’s presidency responded with a message on Twitter saying the coup attempt had “failed”.
“The situation is mastered, there is no coup in Burundi,” said a message released by the presidency.
Nkurunziza’s spokesman, Willy Nyamitwe, also claimed that coup was a mere “rumour” spread by twitter.
As such, government has disabled internet to cut off all forms of communication.
Radios have also been shut down on accusations of escalating violence.
In late April, the Burundian government blocked the signal of some of Burundi’s top radio stations; Bonesha FM, Radio Isanganiro and Radio Publique Africaine (RPA).
Social media was also shut down before the intervention of US.
We are also told that soldiers loyal to Nkurunziza are reportedly fighting with those loyal to army Gen Niyombare who declared a coup.
Other reports say Niyombare is now at national TV preparing for a live statement.
Gen. Niyombare, a Cndd-Fdd rebel, became the 1st Hutu army chief of staff, ambassador to Kenya and intelligence chief.
Over 20 people have been killed in protests following the CNDD-FDD party’s nomination of Nkurunziza to stand for re-election in June 26 polls.
More than 50,000 Burundians have also fled into neighbouring nations amid death threats by Nkurunziza’s militia, imbonerakure youth.
Uganda opposition leader, Kizza Besigye, says the situation in Burundi reflects the fate of Africa.
“This endless cycle of violence and military intervention and instability in Africa will eventually undermine African development,” Besigye said.