Burundi’s Nkurunziza Appears In Public For The First Time Since Coup Attempt

Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza has said his country faces a specific threat from the Somali Islamist movement al-Shabab.


He was appearing in public in the capital Bujumbura for the first time since a failed coup bid against him was launched on Wednesday.

Mr Nkurunziza made no mention of the coup attempt, which came after weeks of sometimes violent protests against him.

On Saturday 18 people appeared in court on charges of helping the coup bid.

The alleged ringleader, Godefroid Niyombare, is still on the run.

Activists are planning more protests for Monday against Mr Nkurunziza’s decision to seek a third term in office in elections due next month.

Mr Nkurunziza was out of the country when military officers launched their coup bid against him on Wednesday. He returned on Friday after forces loyal to him had regained full control.

The president said he came to his office to speak on the telephone with the leaders of Kenya and Uganda regarding a specific threat from the Islamist group al-Shabab.

Al-Shabab, which is battling the UN-backed government in Somalia, has carried out a string of attacks in neighbouring Kenya and is allied to al-Qaeda.

The UK Foreign Office and the US state department say al-Shabab has threatened to carry out attacks in Burundi because of its role in the African Union-led peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

The US has advised its citizens to leave the country because of the deteriorating political situation, and had previously warned about the threat from al-Shabab.