Africa round-up: Burundi

 

And we leave you with this photograph of a loyalist soldier in Burundi’s capital, where there has been fighting between rival army factions today. It appears those supporting President Pierre Nkurunziza have the upper hand. Go to BBCAfrica.com keep up to date with developments in Burundi.

A loyalist soldier in Bujumbura, Burundi

Reuters

Burundi army ‘mopping up’

The BBC’s Maud Jullien has tweeted that the army chief of staff Prime Niyongabo says an unknown number of coup supporters are hiding near the Muha military base in the capital, Bujumbura, and mopping up operations will start tomorrow.

Burundi news site closes

Iwacu screen grab

Iwacu

Burundi’s respected Iwacu news website says it will not be publishing any more stories at the moment.

In a message on the site’s front page Iwacu’s director says (in French): “For security reasons, Iwacu Press is not in a position to work freely. Iwacu is forced to temporarily stop its publications.”

Dampening weather in Bujumbura?

Al-Jazeera reporter in Burundi tweets…

Burundi fighting fallout

These photos of military vehicles destroyed in today’s fighting in Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura, have been sent to the BBC by pro-government activist Nubwacu Yves Lionel.

A destroyed army vehicle in Bujumbura

Nubwacu Yves Lionel

A destroyed army vehicle in Bujumbura

Nubwacu Yves Lionel

Rival army factions were fighting in the city today – and forces loyal to President Nkurunziza now seem to have the upper hand.

The BBC’s Maud Jullien in Bujumbura says that at least five soldiers died in the fighting today.

Crosses in Bujumbura

Some photos are coming in of the streets today in Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura, where loyalists forces appear to be in control.

Earlier some protesters in a northern district of the city erected barricades to protect themselves from police:

Civilian jumps over a burning barricade of rocks erected by residents to protect themselves from police, in a northern district of the capital Bujumbura, in Burundi Thursday 14 May 2015

AP

Here civilians carry crosses as a sign of impartiality:

A civilian carries a Christian cross as a sign of impartiality as he and others walk down a major road in the capital Bujumbura, in Burundi Thursday, 14 May 2015

Burundi leader ‘safe’

Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza is “safe and sound”, his spokesman Willy Nyamitwe has told the the BBC.

But he said for security reasons he could not divulge the president’s current location.

Live from Burundi

The BBC’s Maud Jullien will be reporting live with the latest from Bujumbura for our Focus on Africa TV programme.

Presenter Peter Okwoche will be also looking at the conversations you are having on social media – BBC World News at 17:30 GMT.

Police forces patrol on a deserted major road in the capital Bujumbura, in Burundi Thursday, May 14, 201

AP

Police forces patrolling a deserted road today

‘Surrendered weapons’ in Burundi

Maud Jullien

BBC Africa, Bujumbura

We have visited the Bujumbura offices of Burundi’s state broadcaster RTBN, where loyalists soldiers seem to be in control after the heavy fighting with coup supporters earlier today.

They showed us about 10 coup supporters, who they say had surrendered their weapons:

Guns on display outside national state broadcaster in Bujumbura, Burundi - 14 May 2015

BBC

We also saw two dead soldiers, both alleged coup supporters, on a destroyed tank. At least five soldiers have died in the fighting today.

Whilst we were there, about 30 minutes ago, we could still hear sporadic gunfire

Nkurunziza ‘not in Tanzania’

Anne Soy

BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza flew out of Tanzania yesterday and he is not in the East African nation now, Salvator Rweyemamu, spokesperson for the Tanzanian president, has said.

He could not confirm whether or not he was able to land in Burundi on Wednesday evening, but said that he did not return to Tanzania.

This is contrary to other sources in Dar es Salaam that point to him still being here, including a government source last night.

Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza (C) is escorted on his way to the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Reuters

President Nkurunziza is pictured here on his way to the airport in Dar es Salaam, but it is not clear where he is now

Bujumbura’s day

Ruth Nesoba

BBC Africa, Bujumbura

It is quiet in the streets in the centre of Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura, at the moment, and I can see that some people have ventured out on to the streets.

In the morning we woke up to the news that the loyalists had launched an attack on private radio stations, which were taken off air, and then there was a struggle between rival factions in the army over control of the national broadcaster.

The TV is not on air, but radio is playing Kirundi music. The broadcasts have been on and off, at one point we had reports that people who had led the attempted coup had gained control of it, but later there were reports that the loyalists were still in control.

There is no confirmation about the whereabouts of the attempted coup leader Maj Gen Godefroid Niyombare, and we have not heard from him since his announcement of a coup on private radio on Wednesday.

A soldier, loyal to President Pierre Nkurunziza, smiles as he holds a RPG

Reuters

Soldiers loyal to the president have been pictured on the streets of Bujumbura

Call for Burundi dialogue

@AU_PSD

The AU Peace and Security Council has been discussing the situation in Burundi, it tweets: “#Burundi crisis should be resolved through peaceful & legal means, & in line with Arusha Agreement – #PSC Chair, Press Conference”

In another tweet it says: “#PSC decides 2 deploy #HumanRights Observers 2 #Burundi; appeals 2 all stakeholders to resolve crisis in interest of Burundi pple -PSC Chair”

AU press conference

African Union

Burundi radio battle

Rival factions of Burundi’s army have been battling for control of the state broadcaster RTBN, which briefly went off air.

Several sources are now saying the station is in control of troops loyal to President Pierre Nkurunziza.

Soldiers loyal to President Pierre Nkurunziza in Bujumbura - 14 May 2015

Reuters

These soldiers on the streets of Bujumbura today are loyal to the president

“We had stopped transmitting during the attack. Now the fighting has stopped we can resume. It is still loyalist soldiers who are in control,” the AFP news agency quotes the station’s director, Jerome Nzokirantevye, as saying.

AU debates Burundi

@AU_PSD

The African Union Peace and Security Council tweets: “#PSC Members now exchanging views on latest dev/ts in #Burundi. A communique will be issued on the meeting.”

AU meeting picture

African Union

Mali peace plan ‘initialled’

Alex Duval Smith

BBC Africa, Bamako, Mali

Representatives of secessionist Tuareg and Arab rebels have placed their initials on a peace proposal for Mali in Algiers. But the Coordination of Movements for Azawad (CMA) says it will not turn up for a planned signing ceremony in Bamako tomorrow.

President Ibrahim Boubakar Keita is expected to sign the deal only with his own allies – Arabs and Tuaregs who recognise Mali’s sovereignty.

The proposed deal is a roadmap over two years, including a disarmament and integration process and devolving powers to Mali’s regions.

Bilal Agh Cherif, secretary general of The Coordination of the Movements of Azawad (CMA), signs a preliminary peace agreement in Algiers, Algeria

Reuters

Secessionists have “initialled” a deal but have not yet agreed to all the details in it

Burundi weapons

Heavily armed police in Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura, have been guarding checkpoints today:

Police officers stand at a check point in Bujumbura, Burundi 14 May 2015

Reuters

The streets have been quiet, unlike on Wednesday with people celebrating the coup bid, but there has been fighting between rival groups within the army around the offices of the state broadcaster.

Here a few protesters opposed to the continued rule of President Pierre Nkurunziza set up barricades in their area and are seen preparing a petrol bomb:

Protesters who are against President Pierre Nkurunziza prepare a petrol bomb in Bujumbura, Burundi 14 May 2015

Reuters

AU discusses Burundi

The African Union Peace and Security Council is now discussing Burundi.

It tweets: “Chaired by Amb. Amina Diallo of Niger, 507th meeting of #AUPSC has started. Council is considering situation #Burundi”

Chair of Peace and Security Council

African Union

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