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Burundi Coup Generals Arrested

  • VOA Staff

Policemen clash with protesters near a parliament building during a protest against Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to run for a third term in Bujumbura, Burundi, May 13, 2015.

Policemen clash with protesters near a parliament building during a protest against Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to run for a third term in Bujumbura, Burundi, May 13, 2015.

Authorities in Burundi say they have arrested three people connected with Wednesday's attempted coup against President Pierre Nkurunziza.

A presidential aide told reporters Friday that the three arrested were generals who helped orchestrate the coup attempt, but coup leader Godefroid Niyombare was not among them.

President Nkurunziza is expected to address the nation Friday.

The streets of the capital, Bujumbura, were reported to be quiet Friday after two days of violence between rival factions.

On Thursday, the president confirmed via Twitter that he had made it back into Burundi after hours of uncertainty about his location. President Nkurunziza was attending a regional meeting in Tanzania when the coup attempt took place Wednesday.

Late Thursday, the leaders of the coup acknowledged their attempt had failed. Deputy coup leader General Cyrille Ndayirukiye said his movement was overpowered by forces loyal to the president.

Protests have shaken Burundi since April 26, when President Nkurunziza announced he would run for a controversial third term. Fighting between police and protesters has killed at least 14 people.

The opposition says a third term would be unconstitutional. The president's supporters insist it is legal because he was chosen by lawmakers, not a general election, for his first five-year term in 2005. Burundi's constitutional court has ruled in his favor.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke has said the United States recognizes Nkurunziza as the legitimate president of Burundi and called on all sides to avoid violence and respect human rights.

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