Three leaders of a failed coup in Burundi have been arrested, but the public face of the putsch is reportedly still on the run as President Pierre Nkurunziza seeks to reassert his authority over his fractured central African country.
Nkurunziza, who was in neighboring Tanzania when Gen. Godefroid Niyombare reportedly tried to seize power, was expected to address the nation Friday in the aftermath of days of uncertainty over who was in charge in the capital, Bujumbura.
The Associated Press says:
“[The] streets of Bujumbura were mostly calm on Friday following fighting on Thursday between loyalist troops and forces supporting Niyombare.”
“Along a highway in the south of the country, there were many police checkpoints but otherwise life was going on as normal.”
The AP quotes a Burundian official loyal to Nkurunziza as saying that the general is still at large. He declined to name the two senior army officers and a police general who had been taken into custody. However, the BBC quotes Nkurunziza’s spokesman as saying that former Defense Minister Gen. Cyrille Ndayirukiye was among those arrested.
The unrest erupted last month when Nkurunziza announced that he would seek a third term as president, a move seen by many as a violation of the country’s constitution. Thousands poured into the streets to celebrate the coup after it was announced on Wednesday.