Nkurunziza heroically returns to Bujumbura, links failed coup to protests

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PEOPLE’S MAN: President Pierre Nkurunziza returned to Bujumbura to a heroic welcome

He might have left the Burundian capital as a villain and one of the most unpopular leader in his country and across the region but today President Pierre Nkurunziza finally returned to Bujumbura as a hero amidst patriotic chants and euphoria.

Escorted by heavily armed military and police convoy, Nkurunziza was ushered in the Capital by acclamations of his ecstatic supporters as they lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the man who, on Wednesday was briefly ousted and denied entry into the country he has led for 10 years.

Nkurunziza managed to return to the country Thursday evening and hunkered down in his home town, Ngozi, Northern Burundi, as loyal troops and police forces tried to regain total control of government after thwarting an attempted coup by renegade generals.

The generals led by Major Genaral Godefroid Niyombare dismissed the president as he was away in Dar es Salaam attended an East Africa Heads of State Summit on Burundi.

In his address to the nation, President Nkurunziza thanked the military for their efficiency that enabled them to foil the coup.

“On the occasion of this memorable day, I’d like to thank from the bottom of my heart the defense and security forces for the efficiency and sharpness they demonstrated to halt the ghastly plot aiming at destroying the democratically elected institutions,” he said.

His address was in Kirundi, the national language, and was broadcast live on he National Radio and Television. Nkurunziza announced the opening of all frontiers as the “whole country is in peace”.

“We would like to inform the population and the international community that all boundaries are open and secured,” he said.

President Nkurunziza linked the coup attempt with the protests organized in and outside Bujumbura against his 3rd term bid.

“It is obvious that the current upheavals are related to the mutineers that wanted to overthrow the institutions,” he said, asking “vehemently that the uprising be stopped immediately, while anyone having any grievances to express should put forward dialogue and consultation, and not violence.”

As several voices have come up asking Burundi government to delay the coming general elections, President Nkurunziza instead has urged Burundians to give their financial contributions to enable the government to organize successful elections.

Several European donor nations have suspended aid to the Burundi electoral process.

He tasked the Ministry of Finance to establish a strategy for the collection of the contribution.

Meanwhile, organizers of the anti-3rd demonstrations have called people to take to the streets once more to force President Nkurunziza to withdraw his candidacy.

“If people did not march on the second day of the coup, it’s because of gunfire and bomb shells that were hitting Bujumbura. Pierre Nkurunziza should understand that, unless he announces that he withdraws his candidacy, people will never leave the streets,” says Pacifique Nininahazwe, one of the organizers of the protests.

Majority of the masterminds of Wednesday’s failed coup have been arrested except Major General Niyombare who is believed to be on the run.

Private media outlets have been shut down once again as journalists are being targeted by government forces.

  • bensonblessed

    Very disappointing but i still commend the heroes who tried to free the nation.