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Army Overthrows Burundi President In Coup D’etat

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The Burundian army has announced on Wednesday, 13 May, 2015 that it is taking control of Burundi in a radio announcement.

The coup d’etat was announced in a radio broadcast, with senior army generals saying they were deposing embattled President Pierre Nkurunziza.

President Nkurunziza had travelled to Tanzania to meet leaders of the East Africa Community to discuss the recent violence rocking the country.

“Forces Vives de the Nation have decided to take charge of the nation,” Godefroid Niyombareh, who was fired by President Nkurunziza as intelligence chief in February, said in the radio announcement.

“President Pierre Nkurunziza is removed from office,” Niyombareh added.

Niyombareh also announced that a national salvation committee had been set up to run the country. He said he is working with civil society and other groups on forming a transitional government.

“All people are asked to respect the lives and property of others,” he added.

Military officers have been reported to be closing in on the Radio-Télévision nationale du Burundi (RTNB), the country’s state broadcaster, as loyalist gunmen fired back to protect the building, which was under loyalist control. As of 12.30pm GMT, the loyalists were still holding the building.

Burundi’s opposition leaders have denied planning the coup. Former rebel militia leader and presidential hopeful Agathon Rwasa told IBTimes UK he did not know about the coup.

Godefroid Niyombareh announced that a national salvation committee had been set up to run the country.

However, it is not clear how much support he and the other officers have.

President Nkurunziza is currently at a summit in Tanzania discussing his decision to run for a third term, which critics say is unconstitutional.

Police fired tear gas and live ammunition on protesters on Wednesday as they came within a kilometer of the president’s  offices in Bujumbura.

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