Africa

Burundi's leader Pierre Nkurunziza in 'no revenge' pledge

Burundi"s President Pierre Nkurunziza speaks during a news conference in Bujumbura, Burundi, 17 May 2015 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Nkurunziza has been in power since 2005

Burundi's government will not take revenge against those involved in last week's failed coup, President Pierre Nkurunziza's office has said.

Those implicated would be brought to justice in accordance with the rule of law, it added in a statement.

Protests are continuing in the capital, Bujumbura, against Mr Nkurunziza's third-term bid.

The European Union (EU) said shots were fired at the offices of its Bujumbura representative, Patrick Spirlet.

It is unclear who was behind the shooting.

The EU and African Union have called for a postponement of presidential elections due on 26 June.

Mr Nkurunziza has so far rejected their demand, saying the election will go ahead.


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Mr Nkurunziza's office said the government did "not have and will never have a plan for revenge that we are reading and hearing about in various places".

"The people involved in the shameful attempt to overthrow legitimate institutions will be arrested and prosecuted by the law and only by the law. And it will be up to the courts to determine their punishment as prescribed by the law," it added.

Several alleged leaders of the coup attempt have been arrested but Gen Godefroid Niyombare, who announced it in a radio broadcast last Wednesday, remains on the run.

On Monday, Mr Nkurunziza sacked three cabinet ministers, including the defence minster.

His office denied that the decision was linked to the coup attempt.

Burundi has been in turmoil since Mr Nkurunziza announced on 25 April that he will seek a third term.

His critics say this is in defiance of the constitution, which requires him to step down after two terms.

They reject a ruling of Burundi's Constitutional Court that Mr Nkurunziza's first term does not count because he was elected by parliament and not voters.

The UN refugee agency says that more than 105,000 people have fled Burundi into neighbouring countries since the conflict started.

Mr Nkurunziza, a former rebel leader, has been president since 2005.

Burundi: Key facts

The country is facing its worst turmoil since the 12-year civil war ended in 2005

  • 10.4m population

  • 50 years - life expectancy for a man

  • 2nd poorest country in the world

  • 85% are Hutu, 14% Tutsi

  • 300,000 died in civil war

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