Coup d’etat speculation grips Burundi

Ange Eric Hatangimana

Samba Cyuzuz

Speculation continues in Burundi about who President Évariste Ndayishimiye was referring to after he warned that “powerful people” in his government were planning a coup.

In remarks last week before a ruling party meeting in the economic capital Bujumbura, Mr Ndayishimiye cautioned that he “would defeat” any plot against him.

“Is there a general who would fear someone [plotting] a coup? Who is that person?”, the president, a retired army general, asked.

No official announcement followed his remarks, and it is not clear who among the high-ranking officials he was referring to.

Burundians online have filled the information gap with speculation, even naming the people they think the president was speaking about.

Mr Ndayishimiye became president in 2020 after his predecessor Pierre Nkurunziza, who had governed the country for 15 years, died in office.

Since independence in 1962, Burundi has had four successful coups, several have been foiled, and one presidential assassination.A failed coup in 2015 plunged the country into deadly unrest.

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