A coup has been reported in Burundi while the president was far away in Tanzania for safety. The coup was reportedly organized by Godefroid Niyombareh, a former military intelligence officer who was removed from office by President Nkurunziza in February.
There have been widespread protests in Burundi for weeks after the ousted President moved to go for a third term in office against the laws of the country.
The coup was announced in a radio broadcast by Mr. Niyombareh and it was made while Mr. Nkurunziza is reportedly out of the country to neighboring Tanzania for a regional meeting of East African Community, EAC. The EAC meeting was called to discuss the protests in Burundi which was becoming violent.
“Forces Vives de the Nation have decided to take charge of the nation,” Mr. Niyombareh said.
Burundi is a landlocked country in the African Great Lakes region of Southeast Africa, bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Much of the southwestern border is adjacent Lake Tanganyika.
Burundi is considered one of the five poorest countries, with one of the lowest per capita GDPs of any nation in the world.
The country has suffered from warfare, corruption and poor access to education. Burundi is densely populated and has had substantial emigration as young people seek opportunities elsewhere.