Violence, Protests, and a Potential Coup in Burundi
The current president of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza, recently decided to run for a third term, despite a constitutional law prohibiting anyone from serving more than two terms. In this East African nation, where a 13-year civil war between Tutsis and Hutus ended less than a decade ago, violent protests erupted over Nkurunziza's decision, leading to widespread clashes with police and armed forces and the deaths of dozens of demonstrators. On May 13, in an apparent coup attempt, Nkurunziza's former intelligence chief Major General Godefroid Niyombare said that he had removed Nkurunziza as president and was working with civil society groups to form a transitional government. The presidential office quickly dismissed the declaration, but at the moment, heavy gunfire is reportedly being heard in the streets of the capital city of Bujumbura, and though it still remains somewhat unclear who is in control of the country, the BBC is reporting that soldiers loyal to President Nkurunziza say they are now in control of key locations in the capital.
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