The Office of the President in Burundi has dismissed reports that there has been a coup d’tat against President Pierre Nkurunzia, who is currently out of the country.
Gen Godefroid Niyombareh announced on Wednesday at an Army base that the president had been overthrown and that national salvation committee had been set up to run the country.
Nkuruzinza had just flown to neighboring Tanzania for a crisis meeting of regional heads of state to find solutions to the bloodshed in the country.
The Office of the President however refuted the reports in a couple of tweets claiming the situation in the country was not that of a coup d’etat.
“The situation is under control. There is no Coup, ” noted the Office, before describing it as a failed attempt.
Meanwhile thousands of people have poured on the roads in the capital Bujumbura to celebrate the overthrow of Nkurunziza, who was seeking a third presidential term against their will and the constitution.
The president also disregarded the UN, European Union and the US to postpone presidential elections scheduled for June 26.
Over 20 people have been killed and thousands have sought refuge in neighboring Rwanda and Tanzania, following deadly street protests against the third term bid.
In the statement while announcing the coupe,Gen Godefroid Niyombareh Niyombareh said he had full control of the country and 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.
“The masses have decided to take into their own hands the destiny of the nation to remedy this unconstitutional environment into which Burundi has been plunged,” read part of the statement.
“The masses vigorously and tenaciously reject President Nkurunziza’s third term mandate in accordance with the constitution and the Arusha Accord. President Pierre Nkurunziza has been relieved of his duties. The government is overthrown.”
Meanwhile Burundi’s opposition leaders have denied being behind the coup. Former rebel militia leader and presidential hopeful Agathon Rwasa said he did not know about the coup.
“I am discovering it now on the radio, just like you,” he said from the capital Bujumbura. “Now, we will have to see what happens next.”