Theweekendleader

Burundi president returns to capital after failed coup

Bujumbura

15-May-2015

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza returned on Friday to the capital Bujumbura after the government announced an attempted coup against the president had failed, a diplomatic source told Xinhua news agency.

Bujumbura Mayor Saidi Juma said on Friday the situation was now normal after the army "foiled mutineers led by Maj. Gen. Godefroid Niyombare".

"I call on managers of banks, public and private companies to reopen their businesses because peace has been regained," said Juma.

Burundi's presidency announced earlier that Nkurunziza is back in the country and would deliver a message to the nation on Friday.

It was reported that Nkurunziza returned to his home town in the north of the country late on Thursday, before returning to Bujumbura in a motorcade.

According to a report by the Spanissh news agency Efe, military leaders attempting the coup over the past two days announced their surrender to the authorities on Friday.

The coup leaders surrendered hours after the president announced that he was on his way home from a conference with East African leaders in Tanzania, during which a faction of the army announced his ouster.

The attempted coup was put to rest early Friday morning in a call to the defence ministry, after which the perpetrators were detained by forces loyal to President Nkurunziza.

Among those arrested, according to Bujumbura News, were Gen. Ndayirukiye Cyrille and two police chiefs, although Gen. Godefroid Niyombare, the primary leader of the coup, was not detained.

On Thursday night, after a day of heavy fighting on the streets of Bujumbura, Nkurunziza announced that he would return to the country, and asked the citizens of his country "to remain calm" in a Twitter post.

Waves of protest flooded Burundi after Nkurunziza announced his unconstitutional run for a third presidential term in June's election, while the situation was made worse by the heavy-handed suppression of protesters, resulting in the deaths of 20 people. - IANS