Africa

Burundi: 'Trying not to get shot'

The situation in Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, is calm but tense, according to residents.

Thursday saw heavy clashes between armed groups as a coup d'etat looked likely and civilians hid in their homes. By Friday, President Pierre Nkurunziza had returned and some of the leaders of the attempted coup against him were arrested.

Residents in Bujumbura spoke to the BBC about the past few days and the uncertainty in the city.

Due to the current situation, the eyewitnesses who spoke to the BBC have asked to remain anonymous.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Protests, barricades and gunfire marked 14 May in Bujumbura

'Bob'

"There are so many problems here right now. On Thursday, bullets came through my window.

I am near the airport; there are no flights. No border is open.

There are only army men in the streets. Nobody can go outside.

All the radio, all the information is controlled. Everything costs so much.

Now the president is back, people are afraid and there are rumours he wants war."

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionA resident of Bujumbura, Burundi, hid from ongoing gun battles outside his home in the capital city.

Bob sent the BBC these still pictures of the bullets and casings which ended up in his home, as well as audio recording of the gunfire.


'Ida Ali'

"We were locked up in the house trying not to get shot. On Thursday there was gunfire until night. There seemed to be gun battles everywhere.

The president's advisers armed their supporters to fight the soldiers.

So there was a major gunfight at every corner in Bujumbura; gunfire and explosions between armed civilians and the military.

It was being said the airport and all borders were under the control of the president's rivals. Also, the national radio and television was controlled by them.

Today, there is no gunfire or explosion heard around Bujumbura. The situation is calm since morning, but no work has been done. The town is dead and there is very little movement around.

And now that the president is back in the country, if he can stop the bloodshed and bring peace between people, he is most welcome."

Interviews and written by Nana Prempeh and Richard Irvine-Brown

Related Topics

More on this story