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What We Know and What Is Still Up in the Air After the Alleged Coup in Burundi

Following incumbent Burundi President Nkurunziza's candidacy for a third term, General Godefroid Niyombare announced that he has dismissed the current administration and that he is taking over until further notice. The government denies such coup has taken place and calls it a “farce”. The situation is evidently still very fluid in Burundi, but here is summary of what is known and what is still not clear in Bujumbura, the capital from Penelope Starr (via UN Dispatch blog):

President Nkurunziza was not in the country when the coup was announced (but no one knows whether he is back yet): The president was attending a Summit of Eastern African Nations when the coup was announced. He has tried to fly back to the capital city but it is unclear whether he has succeeded.

This is not (just) about ethnic conflicts :

Nkurunziza and General Niyombare are both former Hutu rebel leaders. They also belong to the same governing party, and Niyombare was both Ambassador to Kenya and intelligence chief, a post he was dismissed from earlier this year.

Like in Burkina Faso earlier this year, public opinion in Burundi seems to be in support of the coup as a way to oppose African life rulers: 

What’s happening today in Burundi is reminiscent of what took place late last year in Burkina Faso, when long-time head of state Blaise Compaore was deposed by the military after declaring his intention to run for yet another term. While the situation in Burkina Faso is still in flux, it was a key moment, as the public massively supported the coup, fed up with Compaore’s decades-long rule (..)but The situation in Burundi is also different, particularly given the protracted civil war which ended in 2005.

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