- Burundi's internal intelligence service, the Service de renseignement, has uncovered a plot to overthrow the government, President Pierre Nkurunziza has claimed. The army however claims to no nothing of a possible coup conspiracy.
"Three senior army officers of the national defence force, three senior police officers and three political leaders have attempted to overthrow the institutions [of the state]," he said on Monday. "We have recorded their voices from phone conversations about their coup plans."
President Nkurunziza revealed this during his meeting with army and police commanders in the commune of Mwakiro, in Burundi's north-eastern province of Muyinga. The director general of the national police, Brigade-General Alain-Guillaume Bunyoni, said the names of the plotters would be made public.
However, army spokesman Maj Adolphe Manirakiza said today that "the National Defence Force does not know anything about the coup attempt." No arrests had been made so far.
Since its independence from Belgium in 1962, Burundi has been ruled by the second largest ethnic group, the Tutsi. However, the overwhelming winner of the 2005 elections was the former Hutu-dominated rebel group, the Conseil National pour la Défense de la Démocratie - Forces pour la Défense de la Démocratie (CNDD-FDD). Hutus form the largest ethnic community in the country.
In 1993, the Tutsi-dominated military killed President Melchior Ndadaye during an attempted coup following Burundi's first multiparty polls. The coup sparked Burundi's 12-year civil war, in which 300,000 people were killed.
During the last few years, Burundi has slowly been returning to normality during a lengthy and troublesome peace process and several interim governments. The government of President Nkurunziza is the first democratically elected in Burundi for more than one decade.
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