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Society | Politics | Human rights

Burundi leader refutes coup fabrication

afrol News, 31 August - The Burundian President, Pierre Nkurunziza, has refuted plans to fabricate a coup as a ploy to silent opposition parties.

Holding brief for the Burundian leader, the government Spokesman, Léonidas Hatungimana, described as unfounded the allegations that the Burundian government and its collaborators have been planning to proclaim a state of exception.

This follows investigations by ‘Radio Publique Africaine’ that a coup aimed at restoring the powers of President Nkurunziza has been hatched by Burundian authorities. Mr Nkurunziza’s party has lost majority of its support in the lower house of parliament.

Admitting that the Burundian President is in control of his aides, Hatungimana refuted the coup fabrications. "The President has never been given such a piece of advice," he said.

South African Security Minister, Charles Nqakula, who has been trying to broker peace between Burundi and its rebel group, said the country and its last active rebel group, Forces Nationales de Libération (FNL) would commit to lasting peace before the year ends.

Led by Agathon Rwasa, the group had signed a ceasefire agreement with the government last year. Some months back, Nkurunziza flew to Tanzania to revive the agreement with Rwasa. He has agreed to release the imprisoned FNL rebels.

Critics accused the Burundian leader of interested in addressing security issues and kept quiet on power-sharing, despite the group’s interest in government in holding some government positions.

Nkurunziza was a former rebel leader who won Presidential elections in 2005. His ascension to power nailed Burundi’s 13-year civil war that left over 300,000 people died and thousands displaced.

A Crisis International report dubbed “Finalising Peace with the FNL” warned that “unless Burundi’s government negotiates a genuine peace agreement with the FNL, its nascent democracy could yet falter.”

The group criticised the failure of implementing the peace agreement between the two sides. It blamed the government for failing to create conducive conditions to rapidly implement the ceasefire.

“If the government continues to snub the rebels’ repeated demands for integration, the FNL will never disarm and will continue to undermine the consolidation of peace in Burundi”, said François Grignon, Crisis Group’s Africa Program Director.

“It is absolutely necessary that the politicians hold their tongues and stop making speeches aimed at dividing the citizens; that they place dialogue and the priority of the population above all else”.

At the conclusion of the extra-ordinary meeting aimed at addressing Burundi’s political and institutional crisis, the country’s bishops grilled leaders of all political camps for fanning the tensions through accusations and counter-accusations on the media.

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