Multiple grenade attacks rock Bujumbura, talk of possible coup

Several people injured by the attacks being attended to by their fellow countrymen and women

Several people injured by the attacks being attended to by their fellow countrymen and women

Three people have died and nearly a dozen injured in multiple grenade attacks that are shaking the Burundian capital  yet again this week.

Sources say the attack happened around 10am local time Thursday in downtown  Bujumbura in near  front what used to be the capital’s central market, and the Mutec bank.

A short while later another grenade was detonated at Avenue du 18 Septembre near the German Embassy and European Union offices.

“Now it is happening daily, we don’t know who is behind or what their motive but innocent people are being targeted and killed,” Jean Bosco Nsabimana, witness to the first attack that claimed the three lives told this website.

This latest wave of grenade attacks, follows Sunday’s (June 21) attack that killed four and injured 30, President Pierre Nkurunziza’s home town of Ngozi, North of Bujumbura, and a pair of other attacks in Bujumbura, and Kirundo province.

Last week Friday, a grenade attack on a police station in Bujumbura wounded 11 police officers.

Today’s attacks coincide with the news that Gervais Rufyikiri, the Second Vice President of  crisis-hit central African state has resigned and fled to Belgium after opposing and denouncing President Nkurunziza’s “illegal” third term  quest.

The most high ranking government official to flee the country has called upon President Pierre Nkurunziza to drop his controversial third term bid for the sake of peace in the country.

In his resignation letter to the Nkurunziza, Rufyikiri, implores  his former boss “”Put the interests of the Burundian people before your personal interests and withdraw your presidential bid, because it violates the constitution.”

He told France 24 he left  because “I was not able to continue to support the attitude of the president, his desire to lead the people of Burundi on the path of illegality”

Meanwhile as the June 29 communal and legislative elections approach, there has been widespread talk on the streets of Bujumbura of a possible coup against the Nkurunziza government masterminded by deserters and “patriotic” citizens who are planning to liberate the country.

There have been unconfirmed reports of massive defections and desertions from the country’s military  and these disenchanted mean and women might be planning something.

The Burundian presidency and the military leadership however,  have categorically dismissed these “rumors” aimed at destabilizing the state.

Colonel Gaspard Baratuza, the Burundian Military spokesperson said last week “from our intelligence, there is practically no sign of a possible attack. However, in case anyone would be plotting an attack, it’s their business, but we’d like to tell them that all defense and security forces are fully prepared to protect the country.”

Despite all the reassurances from the government, residents of Bujumbura and other parts of the country seem to be preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. They are lining up their travel documents, they barricading their neighbourhoods and streets against the police, and they are ready to use whatever objects they have at their disposal as weapons.

On May 13, the current government thwarted a deadly attempted coup that almost deposed President NKurunziza as he attended the East African Heads of State Summit in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.