Scheduling a coup in advance

I guess we’ll see how that goes:

A Burundian general who backed a failed coup in May has threatened to launch an armed uprising after President Pierre Nkurunziza refused to bow to opposition and international demands to abandon his bid for a third term.

General Leonard Ngendakumana, a deputy to the leader of the aborted coup, accused Nkurunziza of dragging the central African country back into civil war, comments that have alarmed a region with a long history of ethnic conflict.

“The next [step] is to organise ourselves just to resist, to make Pierre Nkurunziza understand that he must leave and then that we are prepared to do it by force, by organising a military force,” Ngendakumana told Kenya’s KTN television, adding that coup leader General Godefroid Niyombare was still in Burundi.

The reason that Ngendakumana was talking to Kenya’s KTN station and not to a TV network in Burundi is because the last coup, which was unannounced, didn’t work out too well. If Niyombare really is still in Burundi that’s interesting, given that he said after the coup failed that he would surrender to government forces, but there’s still the question of just how much public sentiment is running against Nkurunziza’s decision to seek a third term. The May coup attempt fizzled out when forces loyal to Nkurunziza were able to hold the radio and TV stations in Bujumbura, and then Nkurunziza was able to roll back into Burundi from Tanzania in a convoy of supporters.

We know that a sizable part of Burundi’s population is angry with Nkurunziza’s actions, but (as far as I am aware) we don’t really know just how sizable a part it is. With just over a week before the election, this is obviously a story that is going to keep developing.

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Author: DWD

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