The President of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza for the first time since the failed coup attempt against his government on Wednesday, May 13, made his first appearance in the capital,Bujumbura on Sunday, May 17.
He briefly addressed journalists amid heavy security presence. Surprising to many, he did not mention anything about the coup attempt or the week-long protests that has plunged the country into unrest since he declared his third term candidacy.
Nkurunziza, instead spoke to newsmen about how he contacted the presidents of some nearby African countries to discuss the threat from Somalia’s Islamic extremists, al-Shabab.
“You know that Burundi is among the countries that is contributing troops in Somalia and that’s why I came here to contact my friends and my fellow presidents in Kenya and Uganda and these countries are being targeted by al-Shabab,”he said French.
Nkurunziza also met with ruling party officials in the Kamengeneighbourhood of Bujumbura, as part of the National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy’s (CNDD-FDD) election campaign.
Local government polls are scheduled for May 26 in the small East African country, with presidential election set for June 26.
Former intelligence Chief Major General Godefroid Niyombareon Wednesday, May 13, attempted to seize power while the president was attending a regional summit in neighbouringTanzania.
Niyombare had been sacked from his intelligence job by Nkurunziza earlier this year after criticising the president’s bid to seek a third term in office.
The 18 security officials, including five generals, accused in the attempted coup have appeared before a prosecutor who charged them with an attempt at destabilizing public institutions.
Niyombare, the coup mastermind is however at large.