Saturday, 16 May 2015

Major General Niyombare arrives at the RPA broadcasting studios to address the nation in Burundi's capital Bujumbura
The general who led an attempt to topple Burundi's president has been reportedly arrested, but anti-government protesters vowed to return to the streets.
Major General Godefroid Niyombare was held along with three other senior army and police officers for their role in the attempted coup, a presidential spokesman said.
"They will be held answerable," the spokesman told the Reuters news agency.
Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza
Meanwhile, President Pierre Nkurunziza is back inside the presidential palace in the capital Bujumbura, and is due to address the country later, a spokesman said. Crowds of people celebrated his return, witnesses said.
Mr Nkurunziza had been in Tanzania when Maj Gen Niyombare announced his coup to overthrow him.
Troops loyal to the president appear to have succeeded in putting down the coup after a day of violent fighting, but the unrest might continue.
The attempted coup followed weeks of street protests against Mr Nkurunziza and his decision to run for a third term, which led to clashes with police. At least 20 people were killed and scores more wounded.
Protesters said they had nothing to do with the attempted coup, but vowed to resume their demonstrations, setting the stage for more clashes.
"Protests to reject the third term bid for Nkurunziza will continue," said Gordien Niyungeko, deputy head of Focode, one of the 300 civil society groups that backed protests. "Our movement had nothing to do with the attempted coup."
After a morning of calm, protesters gathered again, burning barricades as police sought to break up the protesters, the AFP news agency said. 
A group of young men in a Bujumbura suburb said they had been warned by police that they would be treated as rebels and shot at if they demonstrated.
The recent unrest led more than 105,000 people to flee the country for Tanzania, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the UN refugee agency said.
And in a sign of continuing tension, the US embassy said non-emergency personnel and the dependents of its staff are to leave the country.
The embassy is due to be closed on Friday, and no decision has been made on whether it will reopen next week.
Burundi's constitution states a president can be popularly elected to two five-year terms. Mr Nkurunziza maintains he is eligible for a third because he was appointed by parliament, not elected, to his first term. 
A court has ruled that Mr Nkurunziza can run again but his opponents and some donors have questioned the court's impartiality.
Presidential elections are set for June 26 but it is now unclear if they will actually take place.
Burundi erupted into civil war in 1993 following the assassination of the country's first ethnic Hutu president, Melchior Ndadaye. That conflict, which split open longstanding ethnic tensions between the Hutu and the Tutsi people, lasted until 2005.