A day after a general in Burundi announced a coup, the country’s army chief says the putsch failed amid a split in the military, as sporadic gunfire and explosions could be heard in the capital of the central African nation.
On Wednesday, The Two-Way’s Eyder Peralta reported that Maj. Gen. Godefroid Niyombare read a statement on a private radio station saying he had seized power from President Pierre Nkurunziza because the elected leader had violated the constitution by seeking a third term in office.
But Thursday, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Prime Niyongabo said in a statement on state-run radio that “the coup attempt failed” and that forces loyal to Nkurunziza “are still controlling all strategic points.”
Reuters reports that gunfire can be heard in the capital, Bujumbura, but that it isn’t clear who is in control.
Nkurunziza, who was at a conference in neighboring Tanzania at the time of the coup, said Wednesday that the move against his government had been “foiled.” In a message via Twitter, he urged his fellow Burundians to “remain calm.”
“I ask all Burundians to remain calm in the face of deception. The situation is under control and constitutional order is being safeguarded,” he tweeted.